01 May 1997
Med Sci Monit 1997; 3(3): BR313-318 :: ID: 500796
Recognizing the similarity of HCV to flavi- and pestiviruses, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were examined to evaluate the possibility of infection by virus C. In this report we present studies on the presence of HCV-RNA and the possibility of viral multiplication in PBMC. The presence of HCV-RNA was determined by the RT-PCR assay of nucleic acid extracts isolated from both plasma and PBMC obtained from 300 patients suspected of having viral hepatitis. The presence of hepatitis C virus RNA was found in 144 patients. In 49% of HCV-positive samples, HCV-RNA was detected in mononuclear blood cells. In 46% of HCV-infected PBMC, negative RNA-HCV strands were found. The presence of negative HCV-RNA strands in nucleated blood cells suggests that there are additional sites, beside liver, where the replication of the virus takes place.
Keywords: Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMC), hepatitis C virus (HCV), Replicative HCV RNA [(-)RNA-HCV], Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR)
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