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Effective detection of active HCV infection: HCV RNA carrier state in a context free of hepatitis symptoms

HCV immunological assays have limited specificity due to considerable variability of genomic coding sequences. Accordingly, PCR RNA detection also shows variable incidence of HCV in a non-A, non-B (NANB) hepatitis context. We used in-house designed nested PCR applying primers from the 5' untranslated region in 150 thalassemic patients classified in four groups according to anti-HCV screening and glutamic-pyruvate transaminase (GPT) levels. Group A: anti-HCV+/high GPT levels; group B: anti-HCV+/normal GPT levels; group C: anti-HCV(-)+high GPT levels; group D: anti-HCV(-)+normal GPT levels. Viral incidence and concentration, both high in group A, decreased towards group D. Group C RNA incidence was unexpectedly high and, moreover, one control case proved HCV-RNA+. Compared with the Amplicor kit or primers were considerably more sensitive. Author: Arapinis C, Kostaridou S, Kattamis C, 1st Department of Pediatrics, Athens University, Aghia Sophia Childrens' Hospital, Greece.
Source: Clin Chim Acta 258: 91-104 (1997)</>

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