1887

Abstract

In order to investigate hepatitis C virus (HCV) persistence and replication in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from a group of haemophilic individuals, HCV production and release to PBMC culture supernatants (SNs) from HCV singly infected patients and HIV/HCV co-infected patients was studied. HCV RNA SNs were found more frequently from HIV/HCV co-infected individuals (89·5 %) with poor reconstitution of their immune status than from singly HCV-infected patients (57 %) or from HIV/HCV co-infected individuals with a good response to highly active anti-retroviral therapy (50 %). The presence of the HCV genome in culture SNs was associated with lower CD4 T-cell counts and with a more severe clinical picture of HIV infection. In spite of prolonged negative HCV viraemia, PBMC from HIV/HCV co-infected patients released the HCV genome after culture. HCV permissive PBMC allowed generation of HCV productive B cell lines with continuous HCV replication. These findings add further weight to the involvement of PBMCs in persistence of HCV infection and emphasize the role of B lymphocytes as HCV reservoirs.

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2005-06-01
2019-10-13
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