Author(s): Fried MW, Shindo M, Fong TL, Fox PC, Hoofnagle JH,
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Abstract Body fluids from 14 patients with chronic hepatitis C were analyzed for the presence of hepatitis C viral RNA using the polymerase chain reaction. Nucleic acids were extracted from serum, saliva, and semen in guanidinium thiocyanate, subjected to reverse transcription, and then amplified by a double polymerase chain reaction technique using "nested" primers from the highly conserved 5' non-coding region of the hepatitis C virus genome. Hepatitis C viral RNA was found in the serum of all patients in titers ranging between 10(-1) and 10(-3). The hepatitis C viral genome was not detected in any saliva or semen sample. These findings suggest that body fluids of patients with chronic hepatitis C are rarely, if ever, contaminated with the hepatitis C virus. This may help to explain the infrequent transmission of this disease by sexual or close physical contact.
This article was published in Gastroenterology
and referenced in Dentistry