Advances in Animal Models of Hepatitis B Virus Infection

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Abstract

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection seriously affects human health. Stable and reliable animal models of HBV infection bear significance in studying pathogenesis of this health condition and development of intervention measures. HBV exhibits high specificity for hosts, and chimpanzee is long used as sole animal model of HBV infection. However, use of chimpanzees is strictly constrained because of ethical reasons. Many methods were used to establish small-animal models of HBV infection. Tupaia is the only nonprimate animal that can be infected by HBV. Use of HBV-related duck hepatitis virus and marmot hepatitis virus infection model contributed to evaluation of mechanism of HBV replication and HBV treatment methods. In recent years, development of human–mouse chimeric model provided possibility of using common experimental animals to carry out HBV research. These models feature their own advantages and disadvantages and can be complementary in some ways. This study provides an overview of current and commonly used animal models of HBV infection.

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