Analysis of hepatitis C virus genome in patients with autoimmune hepatitis type 2

Gastroenterology. 1994 Jun;106(6):1603-10. doi: 10.1016/0016-5085(94)90417-0.


Background/aims: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA is detectable in a proportion of patients with autoimmune hepatitis type 2, which is characterized by liver-kidney microsomal antibodies (LKM). Therefore, the genotype and sequence of HCV were studied in these patients.

Methods: Sera from 43 LKM-positive and anti-HCV-positive patients (15 from Germany and 28 from Italy) and 82 LKM-negative and anti-HCV-positive patients (57 from Germany and 25 from Italy) were examined.

Results: Genotyping revealed that the rate of genotype III HCV according to Okamoto's classification in patients with LKM antibody-positive autoimmune hepatitis type 2 was higher than in LKM-negative patients (22.0% vs. 2.4%; P < 0.05). This was because of an increase of genotype III in our patients from Italy. No HCV mutations were found that show a closer sequence homology to cytochrome P450IID6, the major LKM-1 antigen. Deletions in the envelope and nonstructural region 5 were found.

Conclusions: Because a specific HCV sequence is not associated with the induction of LKM-1 autoantibodies, future research must focus on host factors and possibly additional environmental factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Autoantibodies / analysis
  • Autoimmune Diseases / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Female
  • Genome, Viral*
  • Hepacivirus / genetics*
  • Hepatitis / genetics*
  • Hepatitis / immunology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Probes / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid


  • Autoantibodies
  • Molecular Probes
  • anti-liver kidney microsome antibody

Associated data

  • GENBANK/S71431