Evidence of non-A, non-B, non-C infection in chronic hepatitis by polymerase chain reaction testing for hepatitis B and C viruses

J Hepatol. 1995 Feb;22(2):125-9. doi: 10.1016/0168-8278(95)80418-8.


Background/aims: Although hepatitis C virus is clearly the major cause of non-A, non-B acute and chronic hepatitis, there is a group of patients with histologically documented chronic hepatitis with no serological marker of hepatitis B and C, nor any other risk factors for liver disease.

Methods: We have investigated 17 well-characterized patients with chronic active hepatitis. HBV-DNA and HCV-RNA were tested by polymerase chain reaction in 17 serum samples and in six liver biopsies.

Results: Four of the 17 patients had serum HCV-RNA detectable by polymerase chain reaction, while none had HBV-DNA detectable by polymerase chain reaction. Three of the six liver samples gave a positive signal by cyclin A and HLA, and only these were considered for the study. One of the three was HCV-RNA positive, while none was HBV-DNA positive.

Conclusions: Our results, obtained through careful elimination of all known risk factors for liver disease, strongly suggest that non-A, non-B, non-C hepatotropic virus(es) could be involved in some cases of chronic active liver disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • DNA, Viral / metabolism
  • Female
  • Hepacivirus / genetics
  • Hepacivirus / isolation & purification*
  • Hepatitis B virus / genetics
  • Hepatitis B virus / isolation & purification*
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Human / virology*
  • Humans
  • Liver / metabolism
  • Liver / virology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Viral / metabolism


  • DNA, Viral
  • RNA, Viral