Detection of viral ribonucleic acid and histologic analysis of inflamed synovium in Ross River virus infection

Arthritis Rheum. 2000 Feb;43(2):365-9. doi: 10.1002/1529-0131(200002)43:2<365::AID-ANR16>3.0.CO;2-E.


Objective: To document the histology of Ross River virus (RRV) arthritis and to examine inflamed synovium for viral RNA.

Methods: Biopsy tissue from the inflamed knees of 12 patients with RRV infection was studied using conventional and immunostaining techniques. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction technology was used to probe for the presence of viral RNA in the synovial biopsy samples and in serum.

Results: Hyperplasia of the synovial lining layer, vascular proliferation, and mononuclear cell infiltration were the main histologic changes. RRV RNA was found in knee biopsy tissue that was obtained from 2 patients at 5 weeks after the onset of symptoms.

Conclusion: RRV RNA was identified in inflamed synovium more than a month after symptoms began. Inflammation was apparent in the absence of detectable virus in the majority of patients.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alphavirus Infections / pathology*
  • Biopsy
  • CD4-CD8 Ratio
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • RNA, Viral / blood*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Ross River virus* / genetics
  • Synovial Membrane / pathology
  • Synovial Membrane / virology*
  • Time Factors


  • RNA, Viral