Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Just 5 years ago the hepatitis C virus (HCV) - a major cause of liver disease infecting >3% of people worldwide - was the sole confirmed member of the Hepacivirus genus. Since then, genetically-diverse hepaciviruses have been isolated from bats, dogs, cows, horses, primates and rodents. Here we review current information on the hepaciviruses and speculate on the zoonotic origins of the viruses in humans, horses and dogs. Recent and direct cross-species transmission from horses to dogs appears plausible, but the zoonotic origins of HCV in humans remain opaque. Mechanical transmission by biting insects, notably tabanids, could, in theory, connect all three host species. Much further work is needed to understand the transmission and zoonotic potential of hepaciviruses in natural populations.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.coviro.2015.10.002

Type

Journal article

Journal

Curr Opin Virol

Publication Date

02/2016

Volume

16

Pages

1 - 7

Keywords

Animals, Disease Reservoirs, Dogs, Evolution, Molecular, Hepacivirus, Hepatitis C, Horses, Humans, Zoonoses