Peripheral blood mononuclear cells of HIV- and HCV-antibody-positive individuals contain HCV RNA but No HCV DNA despite evidence for reverse transcription of HIV RNA into DNA

M. Penning, M. Beld, J. Goudsmit

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Following reports of the finding of cDNA of RNA viruses in cells containing an endogenous retrovirus-encoded reverse transcriptase, we looked for the presence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) DNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of injecting drug users seropositive for both HCV and human immunodefiency virus (HIV). We tested serial PBMC samples from four HCV infected individuals; one was seronegative for HIV, two seroconverted for HIV during follow-up, and one was seropositive for HIV throughout the study period. HCV RNA was found in PBMC and plasma samples at all time points tested. Similarly, HIV RNA was found in all PBMC and plasma samples following HIV seroconversion. In contrast, no HCV DNA was detected in any PBMC sample, whereas HIV DNA was found in all tested PBMC samples following HIV seroconversion, indicative of active HIV reverse transcriptase in these PBMC samples. These results do not support the hypothesis that HCV viraemia is related to retrotranscription of the HCV RNA genome into DNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells coinfected with HIV. The potential of HIV RT to retrotranscribe HCV RNA into DNA awaits studies of liver cells coinfected with HCV and HIV
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-16
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Cite this