USGS Scientist Collecting a Liver Tissue Sample from a Wild-Caught Whi
A U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientist collecting a liver tissue sample from a wild-caught white sucker (Catostomus commersonii) from a river in the Great Lakes area.
The first known hepatitis B virus to infect fish (white sucker) has been discovered by USGS scientists. This newly discovered virus is in the family Hepadnaviridae, which include similar viruses in mammals and birds. In mammals, including humans, these viruses are typically associated with liver diseases including fibrosis, cirrhosis, and cancer. Human hepatitis B virus has a specific protein that is associated with cancer induction, and this tumor-associated protein is not present in the new hepatitis B virus isolated from white suckers.