Hepatitis C virus infection and mixed cryoglobulinaemia: Assessment of HCV RNA copy numbers in supernatant, cryoprecipitate and non-liver cells

A. Manzin, L. Solforosi, M. Candela, G. Cherubini, G. Piccinini, M. Brugia, A. Gabrielli, M. Clementi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The aim of this study was to characterize hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in patients with mixed cryoglobulinaemia (MC). The HCV RNA copy number was assayed in clinical specimens from 15 consecutive patients with MC and HCV infection. Absolute quantification of HCV RNA molecules was performed using a competitive reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (cRT-PCR). Specific HCV RNA sequences were detected and quantified in plasma samples from all patients (mean HCV RNA copy number 4.9 × 106 ml-1 plasma). A high concentration of HCV RNA molecules was detected in the cryoprecipitates of eight of the 15 patients, who had a cryoprecipitate/supernatant ratio higher than 3.0 (range 3.60 to 186.80); in the remaining seven patients this ratio was close to or lower than 1.0 (range 0.13 to 1.60). Quantitative analysis of HCV RNA molecules in cells other than hepatocytes (i.e. peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and bone marrow cells (BMCs), in which the HCV replicative intermediate was detected using strand specific RT-PCR, demonstrated that infection is detectable in nearly 60% of these extrahepatic cells. Quantitative analysis of HCV RNA in PBMCs and BMCs revealed low levels of viral nucleic acids.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-292
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Viral Hepatitis
Volume3
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1996

Keywords

  • Competitive reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction
  • HCV RNA copy number
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Mixed cryoglobulinaemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Virology

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