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J Infect Dis. 1997 Aug;176(2):518-22.

Lymphocyte reactivity to hepatitis C virus (HCV) antigens shows evidence for exposure to HCV in HCV-seronegative spouses of HCV-infected patients.

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  • 1Laboratoire d'Histo-compatibilitié, and Institut de Pathologie, Hôpitaux Universitaires et Faculté de Médecine de Strasbourg, France.

Abstract

Lymphocyte reactivity against hepatitis C virus (HCV) antigens was studied in 20 couples in which 1 member had chronic hepatitis C. This was done to investigate the possibility of HCV transmission between spouses that was not followed by seroconversion. Twenty healthy subjects without any risk factors for HCV transmission served as negative controls. All the patients' spouses and the healthy controls were negative for HCV RNA and for anti-HCV antibody. Lymphocytes were cultured with recombinant HCV core and nonstructural antigens (c22, c33, c100, c200, and NS5) and with control antigens (sperm whale myoglobin, chicken lysozyme, and superoxide dismutase). Lymphocytes from 10 patients and 4 seronegative spouses proliferated in the presence of at least one HCV antigen. No proliferation was shown with nonspecific antigens or in the control group. This study gives evidence for possible in vivo priming with HCV antigens that did not lead to seroconversion in spouses of HCV-positive patients.

PMID:
9237722
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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