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J Med Virol 41: 120-8 (1993)[94110774]

Demonstration of hepatitis C virus genome in saliva and urine of patients with type C hepatitis: usefulness of the single round polymerase chain reaction method for detection of the HCV genome.

N. Numata, H. Ohori, Y. Hayakawa, Y. Saitoh, A. Tsunoda & A. Kanno
Department of Microbiology, Sendai Municipal Institute of Public Health, Japan.

The possible transmission routes of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in patients without overt parenteral exposure (sporadic or community acquired form) were examined. Saliva and urine specimens obtained from type C hepatitis patients, whose sera were positive for the HCV genome, were examined by reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). By analyzing the factors that influenced the detection of the HCV genome by PCR, we developed a single round method which enabled semiquantitative detection with higher sensitivity than that obtained with nested PCR. Single round PCR revealed that 34.8% (8 of 23) of saliva and 56.5% (13 of 23) of urine specimens from patients with type C hepatitis contained the HCV genome. The amounts of HCV genome in saliva and urine specimens correlated with those in serum. The relative amounts of HCV genome in serum, saliva, and urine from a chronic type C hepatitis patient were determined by comparing the reciprocal of the smallest volume of the specimens in which the PCR products were visualized in agarose gels (PCR units/ml), and the values were 1 x 10(5), 5 x 10(1), and 3 x 10(1) PCR units/ml for serum, saliva, and urine specimens, respectively.

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