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J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181(2):442-8.

Hepatitis C virus in lymphoid cells of patients coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1: evidence of active replication in monocytes/macrophages and lymphocytes.

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Division of Transplantation Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ 85259, USA.


It has been reported that hepatitis C virus (HCV) may be lymphotropic in the setting of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) coinfection. The present study was undertaken to determine the phenotype of lymphoid cells harboring replicating HCV in HIV-1-positive subjects. By means of highly strand-specific thermostable enzyme Tth-based reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, the presence of viral RNA-negative strand was sought in different subpopulations of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from 10 HIV-positive patients. HCV RNA-negative strand was most commonly present in monocytes/macrophages (4 cases), followed by CD8+ and CD4+ lymphocytes (2 cases) and CD19+ cells (1 case). In 2 cases that were further analyzed, viral-negative strand remained detectable in monocytes/macrophages cultured for 3 weeks. Moreover, monocyte/macrophage- and serum-derived viral sequences differed in the 5' untranslated region. These findings imply that, in HIV-infected subjects, HCV may replicate in the same cells as HIV-1, which raises the possibility of direct interactions between these pathogens.

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