The pathogenesis and replication sites of GB virus-C/hepatitis G virus (GBV-C/HGV) in humans remain unclear. The presence of GBV-C/HGV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA sequences in matched serum, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and liver samples in 10 patients with GBV-C/HGV infection, 8 of whom were coinfected with HCV was explored. Positive- and negative-strand GBV-C/HGV and HCV RNA were detected by strand-specific reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and virus titers were quantified by competitive PCRs. Positive-strand GBV-C/HGV RNA was detected in 7 of 10 PBMC samples of the patients with serum GBV-C/HGV RNA, but negative-strand GBV-C/HGV RNA was not found in these cells. Positive-strand GBV-C/HGV RNA was found in 9 liver samples, and 2 (22%) of them also had negative strand. In contrast, negative-strand HCV RNA was frequently found in PBMC and liver samples. A positive correlation between the titer of viral RNA in liver tissue and that in serum sample was demonstrated in HCV infection, but not in GBV-C/HGV infection. These findings suggest that liver and PBMC are not the major replication sites for GBV-C/HGV and that GBV-C/HGV is not a primary hepatotropic virus.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 1, 1999
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