Published online Jun 28, 2014. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i24.7665
Revised: January 30, 2014
Accepted: March 12, 2014
Published online: June 28, 2014
Core tip: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is an infectious agent affecting humans worldwide. Other HBV-related strains infect mammalian species of primates, rodents and bats, in addition to birds. Evidence of HBV infection in African, Asian and Neotropical primates draws attention to potential cross-species transmission of these viruses to man. Mounting evidence suggests humans may also be a source of viral infection to other mammals, particularly to domestic animals like poultry and swine. We list evidence of HBV and HBV-like infection of nonhuman mammals and discuss their potential roles as donors/recipients of these viruses to humans and to other closely-related species.