Detection of hepatitis C viral sequences in non-A, non-B hepatitis

Lancet. 1990 Jan 6;335(8680):1-3. doi: 10.1016/0140-6736(90)90134-q.


The role of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in post-transfusion non-A, non-B hepatitis (NANBH) was investigated by analysing clinical samples for both HCV RNA by cDNA/polymerase chain reaction and antibodies against C100-3 by radioimmunoassay. Of fifteen chronic NANBH patients and one patient with chronic cryptogenic liver disease, ten were positive for anti-C100-3 and seven of the ten had viral sequences in their livers. However, two patients negative for anti-C100-3 also had substantial levels of HCV RNA in their livers. In acute post-transfusion NANBH (one surgical patient and two experimentally infected chimpanzees), HCV RNA was detected in the absence of anti-C100-3. In addition, infectious plasma from a seronegative patient with acute post-transfusion NANBH and a seronegative pool of plasma from a chimpanzee with chronic post-transfusion NANBH had high levels of HCV. These findings show that anti-C100-3-positive patients with chronic post-transfusion NANBH are likely to be viraemic; confirm that antibodies to C100-3 are a marker for infectivity; and suggest that the prevalence of HCV infections may be underestimated from the frequency of antibodies to C100-3 alone.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Viral / immunology*
  • Autoradiography
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA Probes
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Hepatitis Antibodies / immunology
  • Hepatitis C / etiology
  • Hepatitis C / immunology
  • Hepatitis C / microbiology*
  • Hepatitis Viruses / genetics*
  • Hepatitis, Chronic / etiology
  • Hepatitis, Chronic / immunology
  • Hepatitis, Chronic / microbiology*
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Human / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Pan troglodytes
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Viral / analysis*
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Transfusion Reaction
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins / immunology*


  • Antigens, Viral
  • C100 protein, hepatitis C virus
  • DNA Probes
  • Hepatitis Antibodies
  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Viral
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins