1887

Abstract

Bactrian camel hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a novel HEV belonging to genotype 8 (HEV-8) in the species of the genus in the family . HEV-8 cross-transmits to cynomolgus monkeys and has a potential risk for zoonotic infection. Until now, neither a cell-culture system to grow the virus nor a reverse genetics system to generate the virus has been developed. To generate replication-competent HEV-8 and to establish a cell-culture system, we synthesized capped genomic HEV-8 RNAs by transcription and used them to transfect into PLC/PRF/5 cells. A HEV-8 strain, HEV-8M2, was recovered from the capped HEV-8 RNA–transfected cell-culture supernatants and subsequently passaged in the cells, demonstrating that PLC/PRF/5 cells were capable of supporting the replication of the HEV-8, and that a cell-culture system for HEV-8 was successfully established. In addition to PLC/PRF/5 cells, A549 and Caco-2 cells appeared to be competent for the replication, but HepG2 C3/A, Vero, Hela S3, HEp-2C, 293T and GL37 cells were incompetent. The HEV-8M2 strain was capable of infecting cynomolgus monkeys by an intravenous inoculation, indicating that HEV-8 was infectious and again carried a risk for zoonotic infection. In contrast, HEV-8 did not infect nude rats and BALB/c nude mice, suggesting that the reservoir of HEV-8 was limited. In addition, the replication of the HEV-8M2 strain was efficiently abrogated by ribavirin but not by favipiravir, suggesting that ribavirin is a drug candidate for therapeutic treatment of HEV-8-induced hepatitis. The infectious HEV-8 produced by a reverse genetics system would be useful to elucidate the mechanisms of HEV replication and the pathogenesis of type E hepatitis.

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2021-07-09
2021-07-27
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