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Med Microbiol Immunol. 1992;181(5):293-300.

Association of hepatitis C virus in human sera with beta-lipoprotein.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Göttingen, Federal Republic of Germany.


Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-RNA in sera of patients with viral hepatitis C is supposed to be included, at least partially, into HCV particles. We found that the density of HCV-RNA-carrying material was variable, as determined by sucrose gradient density centrifugation (1.03-1.20 g/cm3). In some of the sera examined HCV-RNA was restricted to low densities between 1.03 and 1.08 g/cm3. In other sera additional densities of HCV-RNA were found distributed over the whole gradient with peaks at 1.12 and 1.17 and at 1.19-1.20 g/cm3. HCV-RNA banding at low densities could be completely co-precipitated with anti-beta lipoprotein, whereas HCV-RNA fractions of higher densities were only partially precipitated or not at all. In 8 of 20 sera directly examined, HCV-RNA could be completely and in 9 sera only partially co-precipitated by anti-beta lipoprotein. In 3 sera no significant precipitation could be observed.

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