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J Viral Hepat. 2009 Sep;16(9):633-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2893.2009.01112.x. Epub 2009 Feb 25.

Hepatitis C virus quasispecies in plasma and peripheral blood mononuclear cells of treatment naïve chronically infected patients.

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Laboratorio de Virología Molecular, Centro de Investigaciones Médicas, Facultad de Medicina, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.


Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from 45 treatment naïve, HIV-negative, chronically hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients were analyzed for the presence of HCV RNA. Viral RNA was detected in 73% of the studied patients. Single-strand conformation polymorphism assays and sequence analysis of the HCV 5'untranslated regions amplified from RNA recovered from both Plasma and PBMCs suggested virus compartmentalization in 57.6% of patients studied. In summary, our study presents evidence that HCV RNA can be found in PBMCs of treatment naïve chronically infected patients that are not immunocompromised or co-infected with the human immunodeficiency virus.

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