Detection of virus-like particles in liver biopsies from HCV-infected patients

C. Bosman, M. B. Valli, L. Bertolini, A. Serafino, R. Boldrini, M. Marcellini, G. Carloni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In order to directly ascertain the presence of HCV virus infection in livers of patients with HCV chronic hepatitis, we investigated, by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), liver biopsies from 2 adults and 4 children for the presence of virus-like particles (VLPs). The plasmas of these HCV-positive patients. Were HCV-RNA-positive, with high ALT values. In liver tissue samples examined, we were able to detect plus and minus strands of HCV RNA by strand-specific RT-PCR. Aggregates or single VLPs of about 45 nm in diameter were detectable in variable amounts in endoplasmic cisternae and in hepatocyte cytoplasms of infected patients. These results emphasize the relevance of performing TEM assays to confirm the diagnosis of HCV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-314
Number of pages4
JournalResearch in Virology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1998


  • HCV
  • Infected livers
  • Virus-like particles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Virology


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