Background/Aims: The recently identified hepatitis G virus (HGV) has been found to be common in patients with various forms of chronic liver disease, particularly chronic hepatitis C. However, replication sites of this new vital agent have not been studied. Methods: We searched for the presence of HGV RNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells and serum samples from nine chronic hepatitis C patients coinfected with hepatitis G virus. The presence of negative vital RNA strands was determined by strand-specific Tth-based assay which was optimized on synthetic template. Results: All peripheral blood mononuclear cell samples were negative for the presence of the HGV RNA minus strand and only five were positive for the presence of the positive strand, albeit at a low level of 10-102 genomic equivalents/106 cells. Conclusions: These findings imply that hepatitis G virus does not replicate in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, at least in the population of HCV/HGV coinfected patients.
- Hepatitis G virus
- Peripheral blood mononuclear cells
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