Pathogenesis (HCV); Carrier State Related to Host
Infectious Disease Weekly via NewsPage : Hepatitis C virus carrier
state appears more related to host response than to a particular
hepatitis C virus pattern, according to a report from France.
Several recent studies support the existence of hepatitis C
virus (HCV) healthy carriers, characterized by HCV viremia (serum
HCV RNA), repeatedly normal alanine aminotransferase (ALT) values
(three months to 2 years) and normal liver histology.
In this study researcher M. Debette and colleagues sought to
characterize these patients at the virological level. They reported
their findings at the 46th annual meeting of the American
Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, held November 3-7,
1995 in Chicago, Illinois. Fourteen subjects exhibiting criteria of
HCV healthy carriers, and 15 patients with HCV chronic hepatitis
(as proved by liver biopsy and elevated ALT levels) were included
in the study: HCV was genotyped by Inno-Lipa assay (Innogenetics)
according to Simmond's nomenclature and quantified in sera by
Amplicor HCV Monitor (Roche laboratories).
HCV RNA was detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC)
by cDNA/PCR after extraction of HCV genome by the guanidinium
thiocyanate method and extractions with phenol-chloroform.
"In contrast with a previous study, no significant correlation
was observed between a HCV healthy carrier state and a predominant
genotype: 1a (n=5, 36 percent), 1b (n=6, 43 percent), 2a (n=1), 4a
(n=1)," Debette et al. wrote. "HCV RNA serum levels were similar
among HCV healthy carriers as patients with HCV chronic hepatitis:
57 +/- 31 SD (range 14 - 141) versus 65 +/- 67 SD (range 0.4 - 248)
10(4) copies/ml. HCV RNA was detected in all the PBMCs of the HCV
healthy carriers (10 of 10) and the patients with HCV chronic
hepatitis (10 of 10). "HCV healthy carrier state may be observed
among all main HCV genotypes and is not correlated with a
particular HCV viremia level. As in patients with HCV chronic
hepatitis, HCV RNA is constantly detected in PBMCs. These results
suggest that HCV healthy carrier state is more related to host
response than to a particular hepatitis C virus pattern."
Source: Infectious Disease Weekly
The corresponding author for this study is M. Debette, Center de
Transfusion Sanguine, 34000 Montpellier, France.
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