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J Infect Dis. 1991 May;163(5):996-1000.

Detection of polyadenylated RNA in hepatitis B virus-infected peripheral blood mononuclear cells by polymerase chain reaction.

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  • 1Hepatitis, AIDS, and Human Retrovirus Research Unit, National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), Lyon, France.


Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with a reverse transcriptase step characterized a specific transcription activity in hepatitis B virus (HBV)-infected peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in two patients (1 and 2) with chronic hepatitis positive for antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (HBc). Patient 1 was also coinfected with human hepatitis delta virus. A patient who cleared HBV replication after antiviral treatment with vidarabine served as negative control. HBV-specific RNA poly A sequences were detected by PCR in PBMC of patients 1 and 2 even without detectable HBV DNA (patient 2) as shown by dot blot and PCR assays. RNA sequences were found in both the nucleus and cytoplasm. The demonstration of HBV mRNA sequences within PBMC suggests the transcription of viral DNA, in agreement with the findings of HBV surface antigen in PBMC. The results in patient 1 demonstrated HBV mRNA sequences in leukocytes even without PCR-detectable HBV DNA sequences, likely due to ongoing hepatitis delta virus replication.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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