Hepatitis C virus quasispecies in plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells of treatment naïve chronically infected patients

J Viral Hepat. 2009 Sep;16(9):633-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2893.2009.01112.x. Epub 2009 Feb 25.


Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 45 treatment naïve, HIV-negative, chronically hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients were analyzed for the presence of HCV RNA. Viral RNA was detected in 73% of the studied patients. Single-strand conformation polymorphism assays and sequence analysis of the HCV 5'untranslated regions amplified from RNA recovered from both Plasma and PBMCs suggested virus compartmentalization in 57.6% of patients studied. In summary, our study presents evidence that HCV RNA can be found in PBMCs of treatment naïve chronically infected patients that are not immunocompromised or co-infected with the human immunodeficiency virus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 5' Untranslated Regions
  • Base Sequence
  • Female
  • Hepacivirus / classification*
  • Hepacivirus / genetics*
  • Hepacivirus / isolation & purification
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / virology*
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / virology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Plasma / virology*
  • Polymorphism, Single-Stranded Conformational
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • RNA, Viral / isolation & purification
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • 5' Untranslated Regions
  • RNA, Viral