Molecular Detection and Characterization of Yellow Fever Virus in Blood and Liver Specimens of a Non-Vaccinated Fatal Human Case

J Med Virol. 1997 Nov;53(3):212-7.


A yellow fever virus of a South American genotype was identified in the liver and blood samples of a non-vaccinated European patient after his return from Brazil. ELISA tests were negative for IgG and positive for IgM against yellow fever. Yellow fever proteins in the formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded liver biopsy were detected by immunohistochemical procedures. Viral RNA extracted from the liver tissue was also detected using an RT-semi-nested PCR procedure and molecular hybridization. Alignment of the sequence obtained from a gene fragment amplified by RT-semi-nested PCR directly from a blood sample with those of African and South American yellow fever virus strains identified a Brazilian topotype as being responsible for the disease. RT-semi-nested PCR may be used advantageously for clinical specimens for rapid and specific diagnosis, and with archival biopsy material for retrospective studies.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aedes / cytology
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Line
  • DNA, Viral
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver / virology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction*
  • Tissue Fixation
  • Travel
  • Vaccination
  • Yellow Fever / blood
  • Yellow Fever / diagnosis*
  • Yellow Fever / virology
  • Yellow fever virus / genetics
  • Yellow fever virus / immunology
  • Yellow fever virus / isolation & purification*


  • DNA, Viral