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Ilona Bednarek, Urszula Mazurek, Ewa Moric, Oksana Kowalczuk, Dorota Domal-Kwiatkowska, Adam Wilczok, Dariusz Kuśmierz, Ewa Laskowska-Lepiarczyk, Zbigniew Gonciarz, Tadeusz Wilczok
Med Sci Monit 1997; 3(3): BR313-318
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&percnt; 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.