HCV Infection of Hematopoietic and Immune Cell Subsets

  • Tram N. Q. Pham
  • Tomasz I. Michalak


Although hepatitis C virus (HCV) is conventionally known to infect hepatocytes, a significant body of molecular and clinical evidence implies that HCV also invades and persists in cells of the immune system. The functional and pathological consequences of HCV lymphotropism have become increasingly recognized. Studies on HCV compartmentalization in patients with symptomatic or clinically silent (occult) HCV infections demonstrated viral replication in different immune cell subsets, while experiments with primary immune cells and stable cell lines satisfactorily documented the cells’ competence to support HCV propagation in vitro. In this chapter, we present an overview of our current understanding of lymphoid cell involvement in HCV infection in patients with chronic hepatitis C and in those with low-level, essentially asymptomatic HCV infection. We also discuss the methods and pitfalls of HCV detection in immune cells and review the data on in vitro infection of lymphoid cells with wild-type HCV isolates.


Sustained Virological Response Internal Ribosomal Entry Site Immune Cell Subset Hepatoma Huh7 Cell Signaling Lymphocyte Activation Molecule 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Molecular Virology and Hepatology Research Group, Faculty of Medicine, Health Sciences CenterMemorial UniversitySt. John’sCanada

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