Hepatitis C Virus in Sharks

There lurks a species of sharks in the dark waters of the western Pacific Ocean: the graceful catshark (Proscyllium habereri). Little is known about this animal. It is an uncommon bottom-dwelling shark found on the shelves of continental and insular waters. The graceful catshark dwells on the sublittoral zone at depths of 50 to 300 meters. Even its food habits are vague to science; it probably feed on bony fishes, crustaceans and cephalopods.
[Foto: Rusty catshark. No image available for the Graceful catshark]

When Chinese scientists investigated an expanded group of potential arthropod and vertebrate host species, that have generally been ignored by other surveillance programs, they found a number of previously unknown viruses[1].

One of these viruses had many similarities with Hepatitis C Viruses. Its polypeptide aligned well with viruses in the genus Hepacivirus (27.9 to 29.3% overall identity).

The scientists named this novel hepacivirus the Wenling Shark Virus. It is named after the Chinese city of Wenling (traditional Chinese: 溫嶺市), a coastal community that has access to the East China Sea. It's also home of their university.

[1] Mang Shi et al: Divergent Viruses Discovered in Arthropods and Vertebrates Revise the Evolutionary History of the Flaviviridae and Related Viruses in Journal of Virology - 201. See here.

Geen opmerkingen:

Een reactie posten