Original Investigations

Medical Microbiology and Immunology

, Volume 181, Issue 5, pp 293-300

First online:

Association of hepatitis C virus in human sera with β-lipoprotein

  • R. ThomssenAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Microbiology, University of Göttingen
  • , S. BonkAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Microbiology, University of Göttingen
  • , C. PropfeAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Microbiology, University of Göttingen
  • , K.-H. HeermannAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Microbiology, University of Göttingen
  • , H. G. KöchelAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Microbiology, University of Göttingen
  • , A. UyAffiliated withDepartment of Medical Microbiology, University of Göttingen

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Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-RNA in sera of patients with viral hepatitis C is supposed to be included, at least partially, into HCV particles. We found that the density of HCV-RNA-carrying material was variable, as determined by sucrose gradient density centrifugation (1.03–1.20 g/cm3). In some of the sera examined HCV-RNA was restricted to low densities between 1.03 and 1.08 g/cm3. In other sera additional densities of HCV-RNA were found distributed over the whole gradient with peaks at 1.12 and 1.17 and at 1.19–1.20 g/cm3. HCV-RNA banding at low densities could be completely co-precipitated with anti-β lipoprotein, whereas HCV-RNA fractions of higher densities were only partially precipitated or not at all. In 8 of 20 sera directly examined, HCV-RNA could be completely and in 9 sera only partially co-precipitated by anti-β lipoprotein. In 3 sera no significant precipitation could be observed.