Quiz: How Much Do You Know About the History of Hepatitis C?

Joanna Pangilinan, PharmD

Disclosures

September 16, 2014

Images from Dreamstime

HCV naturally infects only humans; it has a narrow host species tropism. Recent studies have found new viruses related to HCV in small wild mammals (eg, bats and rodents) and domesticated animals (eg, dogs and horses). A historical scenario could be that humans were infected with a progenitor of HCV from bats via horses. However, as viruses are thought to jump the species barrier easier between closely related species, another scenario is that a primate species, harboring currently undiscovered HCV-like viruses, transmitted HCV to humans.[3]

Currently, there is no evidence that viruses closely related to HCV crossed animal species to cause human infection. Characterization of genetics and biology of these newly identified HCV-related viruses will help scientists understand the origins of HCV in humans and hopefully help advance vaccine development.[3]

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