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Home Industry News Discovery of canine hepatitis C equivalent ‘could reveal new insights’

Discovery of canine hepatitis C equivalent ‘could reveal new insights’

24th May 2011

Scientists have discovered a hepatitis C-like virus in canines that could broaden the horizons of research efforts into the deadly disease.

Researchers from Columbia University, the University of Edinburgh, the Center for the Study of Hepatitis C and Pfizer Animal Health have isolated a canine hepatitis C virus in samples from animals that have died in respiratory disease outbreaks.

Previously, hepatitis-like conditions have only been found among primates, with its overall genetic origins remaining a mystery.

This new discovery suggests that the virus could have been introduced to human populations from canines or other related species and could also pave the way for the creation of a tractable animal model for the disease.

Dr Ian Lipkin, director of the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, said: "This discovery provides new tools for understanding how this virus causes disease and will facilitate drug and vaccine research and development."

Figures from the NHS show that around 200,000 to 500,000 people are infected with hepatitis C in England and Wales, with many unaware of their condition.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-800555027-ADNFCR

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