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Hepatitis C virus persists after Tx.

Hepatitis C virus RNA persists and appears to replicate at low levels in patients years after they had a sustained virologic response to treatment, according to Marek Radkowski, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic Scottsdale (Ariz.) and colleagues.

In 17 patients who had a sustained virologic response that had lasted for 40 to 109 months prior to the study, 15 had hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA detected in a liver biopsy, serum, peripheral blood mononuclear cells, or cultures of lymphocytes or macrophages. The investigators detected HCV RNA-negative strand in lymphocytes in two patients and in macrophages from four other patients. HCV RNA-negative strand is a replicative intermediate in the viral life cycle and is generally accepted as evidence of ongoing HCV replication (Hepatology 2005;41:106-14).

"This continuous presence of HCV RNA could explain the phenomenon of relatively common persistence of humoral and cellular immunity for many years after supposed viral clearance and could present a potential risk for transmission or infection reactivation," the researchers said.
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Author:Evans, Jeff
Publication:Internal Medicine News
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 15, 2005
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