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J Infect Dis. 1996 Apr;173(4):808-21.

Immune response to epitopes of hepatitis C virus (HCV) structural proteins in HCV-infected humans and chimpanzees.

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  • 1Laboratory of Virology and Parasitology, New York Blood Center, New York City, USA.


Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected humans and chimpanzees were studied for reactivity with linear epitopes in HCV H strain structural proteins. In 10 HCV-infected patients, epitopes were mostly mapped to the capsid and E1 proteins but not to E2. However, serum from 1 HCV-infected blood donor with a high anti-capsid titer reacted with multiple epitopes including E2. By contrast, antibody to capsid epitopes was seen in sera from HCV-rechallenged chimpanzees but not from chronically infected animals. No reactivity was observed to GOR epitope in chimpanzees, while 6 of 11 human subjects reacted with this host-coded antigen. Reactivity to rare epitopes in E2 was seen in chimpanzees with chronic and self-limited infections. Reactivity to one peptide of E1 (aa 316-329) was observed in 10 of 11 sera from HCV-infected humans and 11 of 15 chimpanzee sera. However, reactivity to this epitope was also seen in normal chimpanzees and in 6 (7.1%) of 84 uninfected human subjects.

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