Detection of hepatitis A viral RNA in sera of patients with acute hepatitis A

Oh Sang Kwon, Kwan Soo Byun, Jong Eun Yeon, Sang Hoon Park, Jae Seon Kim, Ju Hyun Kim, Young Tae Bak, Jin Ho Kim, Chang Hong Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


Background and Aims: The Detection of hepatitis A virus (HAV) is important for diagnosis and epidemiological studies of hepatitis A. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique is a sensitive test to detect HAV-RNA in specimens. The aims of the present study were to clarify the detection rate of serum HAV-RNA by PCR and the natural history of HAV viraemia, and to determine the correlation between viraemia and the clinical characteristics in patients with acute hepatitis A. Methods: Hepatitis A virus RNA was tested in 74 serum samples which were serially collected from 27 patients with acute hepatitis A. A nested reverse transcription (RT)-PCR for HAV-RNA was performed with primer sets located at the VP1 region of the HAV genome and the PCR products were eletrophoresed on a 1.5% agarose gel. Results: Hepatitis A virus RNA was found in 18 of 27 (67%) patients with hepatitis A. There were no significant differences between groups positive and negative for HAV-RNA in clinical and laboratory data, except the time interval between clinical onset and initial serum sampling for RT-PCR (10 ± 6 vs 19 ± 14 days) and the alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level at initial serum sampling for RT-PCR (1436 ±1416 vs 518 ± 432 IU/L). The mean duration of HAV viraemia was 30 ±19 days (range, 5-59 days). The duration of HAV viraemia and duration of abnormal ALT levels from clinical onset were positively correlated (r= 0.685, P= 0.007). Conclusion: In conclusion, HAV-RNA RT-PCR is a useful tool to detect HAV viraemia and to study the molecular epidemiology of HAV infection. (C) 2000 Blackwell Science Asia Pty Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1043-1047
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis A virus RNA
  • Serum
  • Viraemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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