Background: With chronic infection, hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA can be detected in B cells and associated with B-cell disorders, but these are not well defined. Methods: The relationship between HCV infection and lymphocyte subpopulations was evaluated rigorously in 120 asymptomatic hemophilic patients, randomly selected from a prospective cohort study. CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells, CD19+ B cells, and CD56+ NK cells were quantified by flow cytometry using cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells of 24 hemophilic patients in each of five age-matched groups [uninfected; chronic HCV with or without human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); and cleared HCV with or without HIV]. Results: As expected, patients with HIV had significantly reduced CD4+ and increased CD8+ T cells. Irrespective of HIV, patients with chronic HCV infection had approximately 25% fewer CD19+ B cells than those without chronic HCV infection. Conclusions: These data support the hypothesis that asymptomatic patients with chronic HCV infection have an altered B-lymphocyte population.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology