New System of Studying the Hepatitis B Virus
Biologists from Princeton University's Department of Molecular Biology studied and tested a system of co-culturing of human primary hepatocytes and non-parenchymal stromal cells for extended HBV infection. New technology allows the scientists to perform laboratory-based studies of long-term hepatitis B virus infections. Full results of the study were published in Nature Communications journal.
"In previous studies using hepatocytes and cells known as fibroblasts grown on micro-patterned surfaces, HBV infections worked with only a few donors, and infection lasted for no longer than 14-19 days and required the suppression of antiviral cell signaling pathways, which poses problems for studying host-cell responses to HBV and for antiviral drug testing," said Alexander Ploss, an assistant professor of molecular biology at Princeton University.
More than 500 000 people die every year because of hepatitis B virus, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) data.