Absence of HCV in the Semen of Infected Men


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TITLE: Absence of hepatitis C virus and detection of hepatitis G virus/GB virus C RNA sequences in the semen of infected men.

The identification of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in semen remains controversial and that of hepatitis G virus (HGV) or GB virus C (GBV-C) has never been investigated. Serum and semen from 90 anti-HCV-positive drug users were tested (27 infected with HIV) for HCV and HGV/GBV-C RNAs by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay, hybridization, and sequence analysis. Semen was processed into round cells, seminal plasma, and spermatozoa. Fifty-six patients were HCV-viremic, but HCV-RNA was not identified in their seminal fractions. However, PCR inhibitors were found in the semen of 34 of these men. Twenty-eight patients had HGV/GBV-C RNA in their blood and for 24 of them, ejaculates were available for analysis. HGV/GBV-C RNA was found in the seminal plasma of 6 of 12 samples free from PCR inhibitors. These results agree with the low risk of sexual transfer of HCV and provide preliminary evidence for the presence of HGV/GBV-C in semen.

AUTHOR: Semprini AE, Persico T, Thiers V, Oneta M, Tuveri R, Serafini P, Boschini A, Giuntelli S, Pardi G, Brechot C, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, San Paolo Biomedical Institute, University of Milan Medical School, Italy. reprodun@tin.it;SOURCE: J Infect Dis 1998 Apr;177(4):848-854

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