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J Infect Dis. 1998 Apr;177(4):848-54.

Absence of hepatitis C virus and detection of hepatitis G virus/GB virus C RNA sequences in the semen of infected men.

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  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, San Paolo Biomedical Institute, University of Milan Medical School, Italy. reprodun@tin.it

Abstract

The identification of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in semen remains controversial and that of hepatitis G virus (HGV) or GB virus C (GBV-C) has never been investigated. Serum and semen from 90 anti-HCV-positive drug users were tested (27 infected with HIV) for HCV and HGV/GBV-C RNAs by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay, hybridization, and sequence analysis. Semen was processed into round cells, seminal plasma, and spermatozoa. Fifty-six patients were HCV-viremic, but HCV-RNA was not identified in their seminal fractions. However, PCR inhibitors were found in the semen of 34 of these men. Twenty-eight patients had HGV/GBV-C RNA in their blood and for 24 of them, ejaculates were available for analysis. HGV/GBV-C RNA was found in the seminal plasma of 6 of 12 samples free from PCR inhibitors. These results agree with the low risk of sexual transfer of HCV and provide preliminary evidence for the presence of HGV/GBV-C in semen.

PMID:
9534955
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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