Chimpanzees are currently the only nonhuman animal model for reproducible propagation of hepatitis C virus (HCV). A chimeric mouse model was used for the induction of hepatitis C viremia, using BNX (beige/nude/X-linked immunodeficient) mice preconditioned by total body irradiation and reconstituted with SCID mouse bone marrow cells. HCV-infected liver fragments from patients with HCV RNA-positive sera were transplanted under the kidney capsule of the chimeric mice. HCV-specific RNA sequences were detected by reverse transcriptase nested polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in serum of âˆ50% of grafted animals. In addition, normal liver specimens were incubated with HCV serum and transplanted into chimeric mice, leading to viremia in âˆ25% of animals. Sequential histologic evaluation of the liver implants, from day 2 to week 14 after transplantation, revealed loss of lobular architecture within the implants. However, viremia persisted for 1050 days after transplantation. These results offer a new HCV model.