Abbott and UC San Francisco discover new virus is linked to hepatitis C

AbbottAbbott and University of California San Francisco (UCSF) published research identifying a newly discovered human virus, known as human pegivirus 2 (HPgV-2), and proving it is found among some patients with hepatitis C (HCV). This research, published in PLOS Pathogens, identified eight complete strains of HPgV-2, which makes it the first study to reveal the entire genetic makeup of this new virus. Although infection with this bloodborne virus was found to be tightly associated with HCV, it is not yet known whether this new virus can cause disease.

"Based on our findings, our team used the genetic makeup of the virus to develop both a molecular test for detecting it in the bloodstream and an antibody test for determining an immune response to the virus. Our next step is to explore whether this new virus can cause disease, and if so, work with blood banks to continue to help safeguard the world's blood supply against these types of new viruses," said John Hackett Jr., Ph.D., divisional vice president of applied research and technology at Abbott. "Research such as this is ultimately focused on unlocking new technologies that hold the potential for significant improvements to the practice of healthcare."

This study was conducted by the UCSF-Abbott Viral Diagnostics and Discovery Center (VDDC), which was established through a multi-year collaboration between Abbott and UCSF. To identify the new virus, researchers used techniques for sequencing fragments of the genetic makeup of it, including deep sequencing and ultra-rapid pathogen identification technologies. The patient blood sample from which the virus was first discovered was provided by the Center for Liver Diseases at University of Chicago Medical Center.

"By characterizing eight complete genomes and four partial genomes of human pegivirus 2, this study provides new insights into the evolution and diversity of this virus in infected individuals," said Dr. Charles Chiu, M.D., Ph.D., an associate professor of laboratory medicine at UCSF and director of the UCSF-Abbott VDDC. "Discoveries like these are one of the reasons our partnership with Abbott is so important, as they provide us with information that push the boundaries of scientific knowledge and may have significant downstream implications with respect to human health."

About Abbott
At Abbott (NYSE: ABT), we're committed to helping you live your best possible life through the power of health. For more than 125 years, we've brought new products and technologies to the world -- in nutrition, diagnostics, medical devices and branded generic pharmaceuticals -- that create more possibilities for more people at all stages of life. Today, 73,000 of us are working to help people live not just longer, but better, in the more than 150 countries we serve.

Most Popular Now

Amgen and Allergan's MVASI™ (bevacizumab-awwb) and…

Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) and Allergan plc (NYSE:AGN) announced that MVASI™ (bevacizumab-awwb), a biosimilar to Avastin® (bevacizumab), and KANJINTITM (trastuzumab-anns), a bio...

Compound found in red wine opens door for new trea…

Like to unwind with a glass of red wine after a stressful day? Don't give alcohol all the credit. New research has revealed that the plant compound resveratrol, which is ...

HIV vaccine nears clinical trial following new fin…

A promising vaccine that clears an HIV-like virus from monkeys is closer to human testing after a new, weakened version of the vaccine has been shown to provide similar p...

Mylan and Upjohn, a division of Pfizer, to combine…

HERTFORDSHIRE, England & PITTSBURGH & Mylan N.V. (Nasdaq: MYL) and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) today announced a definitive agreement to combine Mylan with Upjohn, Pfizer's o...

Leading oncologists and nutritionists pinpoint are…

An international collaborative led by Ludwig Cancer Research and Cancer Research UK has identified key areas that are central to uncovering the complex relationship betwe...

Closing the door: breaking new ground related to a…

In order to sustain fast growth, cancer cells need to take up nutrients at a faster rate than healthy cells. The human glutamine transporter ASCT2 allows the amino acid g...

Roche and Spark Therapeutics, Inc. announce extens…

Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) and Spark Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ONCE) ("Spark") announced that Roche has extended the offering period of its previously announced...

FDA approves first generics of Lyrica

On July 19, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved multiple applications for first generics of Lyrica (pregabalin) for the management of neuropathic pain associat...

FDA approves first treatment for severe hypoglycem…

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Baqsimi nasal powder, the first glucagon therapy approved for the emergency treatment of severe hypoglycemia that c...

Rye is healthy, thanks to an interplay of microbes

Eating rye comes with a variety of health benefits. A new study from the University of Eastern Finland now shows that both lactic acid bacteria and gut bacteria contribut...

GSK completes transaction with Pfizer to form new …

The Joint Venture brings together two highly complementary portfolios of trusted consumer health brands, including GSK's Sensodyne, Voltaren and Panadol and Pfizer's Advi...

Eating more plant-based foods may be linked to bet…

Eating mostly plant-based foods and fewer animal-based foods may be linked to better heart health and a lower risk of dying from a heart attack, stroke or other cardiovas...