Retrovirus‐like particles in hepatocytes of patients with transfusion‐acquired Non‐A, Non‐B hepatitis

Sten Iwarson, Zsuzsa Schaff, Belinda Seto, Gunnar Norkrans, Robert J. Gerety

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19 Citations (Scopus)


Retrovirus‐like particles 60–85 nm in diameter were observed in the cytoplasm of hepatocytes in liver biopsies obtained during the acute and chronic phases of non‐A, non‐B hepatitis (NANBH) in three patients with transfusion‐acquired disease. The particles appeared in dilated endoplasmic reticulum cisternae as well as in enlarged Golgi vesicles. No such particles were seen in hepatocytes in liver biopsies similarly obtained during the acute or chronic phases of NANBH from 11 additional patients with NANBH who did not acquire their disease following blood transfusion. Particle‐associated reverse transcriptase activity (peak activity at a density of 1.14 gm/ml) was present in the sera of all three “particle‐positive” patients and also in 42% of the “particle‐negative” patients. The retrovirus‐like particles described here were apparently unrelated to the previously described human T cell lymphocytotropic retroviruses (HTLV), since none of the 14 patients studied had antibodies in their serum directed against antigens of any of the three known HTLVs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-45
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 1985


  • liver biopsy
  • non‐A, non‐B hepatitis
  • retrovirus‐like particles
  • reverse transcriptase
  • viral hepatitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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