Viral load in samples from hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients with various clinical conditions

A. Manzin, L. Solforosi, D. Bianchi, A. Gabrielli, F. Giostra, S. Bruno, M. Clementi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Molecular methods for the absolute quantitation of nucleic acids present in biological samples have recently been developed and applied in basic and in medical virology; these studies indicated that competitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and competitive reverse transcription PCR (cRT-PCR)-based methodologies are currently the methods of choice for quantifying DNA and RNA species present in clinical samples at low concentration. Recently, quantitative molecular techniques were developed to study the hepatitis C virus (HCV) pathogenic potential, the natural history of HCV-infected patients and the efficiency of antiviral therapies in real time. The pilot study reported here was carried out using a cRT-PCR application for the direct quantitation of HCV RNA molecules in plasma samples of infected individuals which was recently developed in our laboratory. Although sharp individual variability of viral load was documented in this study, the mean HCV RNA copy number detected in samples from untreated HCV-infected patients with various clinical conditions (chronic active hepatitis, cirrhosis, cryoglobulinaemia and chronic hepatitis) was substantially similar, with only one exception: in samples from patients tested positive for anti-liver-kidney microsomal (anti-LKM1) auto-antibodies, a significantly lower HCV viraemia level was revealed. Additionally, HCV viraemia was monitored in four patients with sustained biochemical and histological response (at least 12 months) following interferon-α discontinuation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)279-284
Number of pages6
JournalResearch in Virology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • cRT-PCR
  • HCV
  • Hepatitis C
  • Interferon-α
  • Long-term responders
  • Quantitative methods
  • RNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Virology


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