Researchers Discover New Virus Associated with HCV

The discovery of a new virus isn’t met with the same open arms as is the discovery of a new vaccine. That’s because viruses cause disease and many are not easily contained by modern medicine. In December 2015, collaborators from Abbott, the University of California San Francisco and the University of Chicago announced their discovery of human pegivirus 2 (HPgV-2), linked with hepatitis C virus (HCV). It was found in 12 patients, all of whom also had HCV. The researchers are not sure whether HPgV-2 can cause disease independently of its linkage with HCV. Using the genetic makeup of the virus, the investigators developed a molecular test for detecting the virus in the blood. They also created an antibody test to see if the patient’s immune system had reacted to it. The researchers plan to use these tests to work with blood banks to help protect the blood supply from viral contamination from HPgV-2. Source: abbott.com