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Res Virol. 1998 Sep-Oct;149(5):311-4.

Detection of virus-like particles in liver biopsies from HCV-infected patients.

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Dept. of Experimental Medicine & Pathology, La Sapienza University School of Medicine, Rome, Italy.


In order to directly ascertain the presence of HCV virus infection in livers of patients with HCV chronic hepatitis, we investigated, by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), liver biopsies from 2 adults and 4 children for the presence of virus-like particles (VLPs). The plasmas of these HCV-positive patients were HCV-RNA-positive, with high ALT values. In liver tissue samples examined, we were able to detect plus and minus strands of HCV RNA by strand-specific RT-PCR. Aggregates or single VLPs of about 45 nm in diameter were detectable in variable amounts in endoplasmic cisternae and in hepatocyte cytoplasms of infected patients. These results emphasize the relevance of performing TEM assays to confirm the diagnosis of HCV infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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