Thursday, 03 November 2022 14:22

Escape route of hepatitis B viruses via vesicles Featured

A research team led by the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) has discovered that hepatitis B virus particles are transported and released into the environment via small vesicles called exosomes. This may protect the virus particles from attack. This exit route was previously unknown.

For their investigations, the research team led by Prof. Eberhard Hildt of the PEI isolated exosomes from the cell culture supernatant of HBV-producing human liver cells.  These provided evidence of hepatitis B viruses. After the dissolution of the exosomes' membrane, intact HBV viruses were released outside the cells.

The finding was published online in the journal Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology:
Wu Q, Glitscher M, Tonneacher S, Schollmeier A, Raupach J, Zahn T, Eberle R, Krijnse-Locker J, Basic M, Hildt E (2022): Presence of intact hepatitis B virions in exosomes. Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol, Sep 29,