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Virus classification
Group: Group IV ((+)ssRNA)
Family: Flaviviridae
Genus: Hepacivirus

Hepacivirus A
Hepacivirus B
Hepacivirus C
Hepacivirus D
Hepacivirus E
Hepacivirus F
Hepacivirus G
Hepacivirus H
Hepacivirus I
Hepacivirus J
Hepacivirus K
Hepacivirus L
Hepacivirus M
Hepacivirus N

Hepacivirus is a genus of positive-sense, single-stranded RNA viruses in the family Flaviviridae.[1] The virus hepatitis C virus(HCV), belonging to the species Hepacivirus C, has humans as its only known natural host, and is associated with hepatitis and hepatocellular carcinoma.[1][2]


Group: ssRNA(+)


Revised taxonomy[edit]

The viruses belonging to this genus have been classified into 14 species - Hepacivirus A-N.[4][1]

  • The species Hepacivirus A includes the virus canine hepacivirus/non-primate hepacivirus/equine hepacivirus
  • The species Hepacivirus B includes the virus GBV-B
  • The species Hepacivirus C includes the virus Hepatitis C virus (previously included in the species Hepatitis C virus)
  • The species Hepacivirus D includes the virus Guereza hepacivirus
  • The species Hepacivirus E includes the virus rodent hepacivirus-339
  • The species Hepacivirus F includes the virus rodent hepacivirus-NLR07-oct70
  • The species Hepacivirus G includes the virus Norway rat hepacivirus 1
  • The species Hepacivirus H includes the virus Norway rat hepacivirus 2
  • The species Hepacivirus I includes the virus rodent hepacivirus-SAR-3/RSA/2008
  • The species Hepacivirus J incVan Nguyenludes the virus rodent hepacivirus- RMU10-3382/GER/2010
  • The species Hepacivirus K includes the virus bat hepacivirus-PDB-829
  • The species Hepacivirus L includes the virus bat hepacivirus-PDB-112
  • The species Hepacivirus M includes the virus bat hepacivirus-PDB-491.1
  • The species Hepacivirus N includes the virus bovine hepacivirus

A new virus has been isolated from the bamboo rat (Rhizomys pruinosus) while belonging to this genus does not appear to belong to any previously described species.[5]


Viruses in the genus Hepacivirus are enveloped, with spherical geometries. The diameter is around 50 nm. Genomes are linear and non-segmented, around 10kb in length.[1][2]

Genus Structure Symmetry Capsid Genomic arrangement Genomic segmentation
Hepacivirus Icosahedral-like Pseudo T=3 Enveloped Linear Monopartite

Life cycle[edit]

Entry into the host cell is achieved by attachment of the viral envelope protein E to host receptors, which mediates clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Replication follows the positive stranded RNA virus replication model. Positive stranded rna virus transcription is the method of transcription. Translation takes place by viral initiation. Human serve as the natural host. Transmission routes are sexual, blood, and contact.[1][2]

Genus Host details Tissue tropism Entry details Release details Replication site Assembly site Transmission
Hepacivirus Humans Epithelium: skin; epithelium: kidney; epithelium: intestine; epithelium: testes Clathrin-mediated endocytosis Secretion Cytoplasm Cytoplasm Sex; blood


Hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is the causative agent of hepatitis C in humans, and a member of the species Hepacivirus C, was discovered in 1989.[6] Seven genotypes (1-7) and eighty six subtypes (1a, 1b etc.) of hepatitis C virus have been named.[7]

GBV-B virus (also known as GB virus B) discovered in 1995 is capable of infecting New World monkeys, in particular tamarins. Like HCV it is transmitted by the blood-borne route and similar to HCV it is associated with the viral hepatitis. However GBV-B has never been identified in wild animals and its natural host is not known.[6]

Additional Information[edit]

Additional hepaciviruses have been described from bats, rodents including bank voles, horses and dogs.[8][9][10]

Cattle also appear to be a host for viruses belonging to the species Hepacivirus N.[11][12]

Rodent hepacivirus is found in the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus).[6]

A virus related to hepaciviruses has been isolated from the graceful catshark (Proscyllium habereri).[13]

There are at least two subtypes of equine hepacivirus.[14]

The viruses most closely related to hepatitis C virus are the equine hepaciviruses belonging to the species Hepacivirus A .[15]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Flaviviridae". International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). 
  2. ^ a b c "Viral Zone". ExPASy. Retrieved 15 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "Taxonomy". International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). 
  4. ^ Smith, Donald B; Becher, Paul; Bukh, Jens; Gould, Ernest A; Meyers, Gregor; Monath, Thomas; Muerhoff, A. Scott; Pletnev, Alexander; Rico-Hesse, Rebecca; Stapleton, Jack T; Simmonds, Peter (2016). "Proposed update to the taxonomy of the genera Hepacivirus and Pegivirus within the Flaviviridae family". Journal of General Virology. 97 (11): 2894–2907. doi:10.1099/jgv.0.000612. PMC 5770844Freely accessible. PMID 27692039. 
  5. ^ Van Nguyen, Dung; Van Nguyen, Cuong; Bonsall, David; Ngo, Tue; Carrique-Mas, Juan; Pham, Anh; Bryant, Juliet; Thwaites, Guy; Baker, Stephen; Woolhouse, Mark; Simmonds, Peter (2018). "Detection and Characterization of Homologues of Human Hepatitis Viruses and Pegiviruses in Rodents and Bats in Vietnam". Viruses. 10 (3): 102. doi:10.3390/v10030102. PMID 29495551. 
  6. ^ a b c Stapleton, J. T; Foung, S; Muerhoff, A. S; Bukh, J; Simmonds, P (2010). "The GB viruses: A review and proposed classification of GBV-A, GBV-C (HGV), and GBV-D in genus Pegivirus within the family Flaviviridae". Journal of General Virology. 92 (2): 233–46. doi:10.1099/vir.0.027490-0. PMC 3081076Freely accessible. PMID 21084497. 
  7. ^ "HCV Classification". International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). 
  8. ^ Kapoor, A; Simmonds, P; Scheel, T. K. H; Hjelle, B; Cullen, J. M; Burbelo, P. D; Chauhan, L. V; Duraisamy, R; Sanchez Leon, M; Jain, K; Vandegrift, K. J; Calisher, C. H; Rice, C. M; Lipkin, W. I (2013). "Identification of Rodent Homologs of Hepatitis C Virus and Pegiviruses". M Bio. 4 (2): e00216–13. doi:10.1128/mBio.00216-13. PMC 3622934Freely accessible. PMID 23572554. 
  9. ^ Drexler, Jan Felix; Corman, Victor Max; Müller, Marcel Alexander; Lukashev, Alexander N; Gmyl, Anatoly; Coutard, Bruno; Adam, Alexander; Ritz, Daniel; Leijten, Lonneke M; Van Riel, Debby; Kallies, Rene; Klose, Stefan M; Gloza-Rausch, Florian; Binger, Tabea; Annan, Augustina; Adu-Sarkodie, Yaw; Oppong, Samuel; Bourgarel, Mathieu; Rupp, Daniel; Hoffmann, Bernd; Schlegel, Mathias; Kümmerer, Beate M; Krüger, Detlev H; Schmidt-Chanasit, Jonas; Setién, Alvaro Aguilar; Cottontail, Veronika M; Hemachudha, Thiravat; Wacharapluesadee, Supaporn; Osterrieder, Klaus; et al. (2013). "Evidence for Novel Hepaciviruses in Rodents". PLoS Pathogens. 9 (6): e1003438. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1003438. PMC 3688547Freely accessible. PMID 23818848. 
  10. ^ Lauck, M; Sibley, S. D; Lara, J; Purdy, M. A; Khudyakov, Y; Hyeroba, D; Tumukunde, A; Weny, G; Switzer, W. M; Chapman, C. A; Hughes, A. L; Friedrich, T. C; O'Connor, D. H; Goldberg, T. L (2013). "A Novel Hepacivirus with an Unusually Long and Intrinsically Disordered NS5A Protein in a Wild Old World Primate". Journal of Virology. 87 (16): 8971–81. doi:10.1128/JVI.00888-13. PMC 3754081Freely accessible. PMID 23740998. 
  11. ^ Corman, Victor Max; Grundhoff, Adam; Baechlein, Christine; Fischer, Nicole; Gmyl, Anatoly; Wollny, Robert; Dei, Dickson; Ritz, Daniel; Binger, Tabea; Adankwah, Ernest; Marfo, Kwadwo Sarfo; Annison, Lawrence; Annan, Augustina; Adu-Sarkodie, Yaw; Oppong, Samuel; Becher, Paul; Drosten, Christian; Drexler, Jan Felix (2015). "Highly Divergent Hepaciviruses from African Cattle". Journal of Virology. 89 (11): 5876–82. doi:10.1128/JVI.00393-15. PMC 4442428Freely accessible. PMID 25787289. 
  12. ^ Baechlein, Christine; Fischer, Nicole; Grundhoff, Adam; Alawi, Malik; Indenbirken, Daniela; Postel, Alexander; Baron, Anna Lena; Offinger, Jennifer; Becker, Kathrin; Beineke, Andreas; Rehage, Juergen; Becher, Paul (2015). "Identification of a Novel Hepacivirus in Domestic Cattle from Germany". Journal of Virology. 89 (14): 7007–15. doi:10.1128/JVI.00534-15. PMC 4473572Freely accessible. PMID 25926652. 
  13. ^ Shi, Mang; Lin, Xian-Dan; Vasilakis, Nikos; Tian, Jun-Hua; Li, Ci-Xiu; Chen, Liang-Jun; Eastwood, Gillian; Diao, Xiu-Nian; Chen, Ming-Hui; Chen, Xiao; Qin, Xin-Cheng; Widen, Steven G; Wood, Thomas G; Tesh, Robert B; Xu, Jianguo; Holmes, Edward C; Zhang, Yong-Zhen (2016). "Divergent Viruses Discovered in Arthropods and Vertebrates Revise the Evolutionary History of the Flaviviridae and Related Viruses". Journal of Virology. 90 (2): 659–69. doi:10.1128/JVI.02036-15. PMC 4702705Freely accessible. PMID 26491167. 
  14. ^ Pronost, S; Hue, E; Fortier, C; Foursin, M; Fortier, G; Desbrosse, F; Rey, F. A; Pitel, P.-H; Richard, E; Saunier, B (2017). "Prevalence of Equine Hepacivirus Infections in France and Evidence for Two Viral Subtypes Circulating Worldwide". Transboundary and Emerging Diseases. 64 (6): 1884–1897. doi:10.1111/tbed.12587. PMID 27882682. 
  15. ^ Thézé, Julien; Lowes, Sophia; Parker, Joe; Pybus, Oliver G (2015). "Evolutionary and Phylogenetic Analysis of the Hepaciviruses and Pegiviruses". Genome Biology and Evolution. 7 (11): 2996–3008. doi:10.1093/gbe/evv202. PMC 5635594Freely accessible. PMID 26494702. 

External links[edit]