Hepatitis C quantification and sequencing in blood products, haemophiliacs, and drug users

P Simmonds, L Q Zhang, H G Watson, S Rebus, E D Ferguson, P Balfe, G H Leadbetter, P L Yap, J F Peutherer, C A Ludlam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detected specific hepatitis C viral (HCV) RNA sequences in plasma from 15 of 21 haemophiliacs (12 HCV-antibody positive) and 7 of 27 intravenous drug users (13 HCV-antibody positive). Quantification of RNA-positive samples showed high levels of HCV (10(5) to 10(6) copies of RNA/ml) in infected patients. HCV was more frequently found in haemophiliacs infected with human immunodeficiency virus (11/11 HIV-positive and 4/10 HIV-negative patients). HCV-RNA was detected in all batches of commercially available factor VIII tested and in low concentrations in some pools of plasma donations from volunteers. Factor VIII, manufactured from volunteer donations, was uniformly negative by PCR. Phylogenetic analysis of viral sequences showed two distinct groups: one was associated with intravenous drug users and the other with haemophiliacs infected with Scottish factor VIII preparations. Both were distinct from sequences found in commercially available factor VIII.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1469-72
Number of pages4
JournalThe Lancet
Issue number8729
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 1990


  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
  • Adult
  • Base Sequence
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug Contamination
  • Factor VIII
  • Hemophilia A
  • Hepacivirus
  • Hepatitis Antibodies
  • Hepatitis C
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Viral
  • Substance Abuse, Intravenous


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