A head-to-tail trimer of a full-length cDNA clone of the hepatitis delta virus (HDV) genome was examined for infectivity by direct inoculation into the liver of a chimpanzee that was already infected with hepatitis B virus. Five weeks after inoculation, a marked elevation of serum alanine aminotransferase activity was observed, followed by the appearance of high levels of HDV RNA and antigen in both liver and serum and a high level of viral particles in the serum. A transient suppression of hepatitis B virus replication was evident during the acute phase of HDV infection. Seroconversion for antibodies to delta antigen occurred 3 weeks after the onset of the disease. These results demonstrate that a typical HDV infection can be initiated by inoculation of a susceptible animal with recombinant HDV cDNA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science