Why has it historically been so difficult to study hepatitis B virus (HBV)? Which animals can be infected? What blocks interspecies transmission? How have scientists tried to overcome these challenges, and how close are we to developing a cure for HBV infection?
If these questions interest you, check out the Ploss lab’s newest review paper, “Animal Models of Hepatitis B Virus Infection-Success, Challenges, and Future Directions,” published in Viruses. In this review, Yongzhen Liu and Stephanie Maya explain why so few animals can be used to study HBV, and how researchers have creatively overcome this challenge by developing surrogate animal models like human chimeric mice.
Considering that more than 250 million people suffer from chronic HBV infection worldwide, this review is not to be missed!