Hepatitis C virus: Detection of intracellular virus particles by electron microscop



We previously demonstrated that a human T-cell line, HPBMa10-2 derived from HPBALL, was capable of supporting a productive infection of hepatitis C virus (HCV). We subsequently found Daudi cells, a human B-cell line, to be susceptible to HCV infection. Employing these cell lines infected with HCV as well as liver obtained during the acute phase of hepatitis C from a chimpanzee, we observed intracellular HCV particles by electron microscopy (EM). We detected viruslike particles with a diameter of approximately 50 nm in the cytoplasmic vesicles. In Daudi cells harvested 15 days after virus inoculation, the appearance of cytoplasmic tubular structures which we originally described for chimpanzee hepatocytes in association with HCV infection was noted. Immunoperoxidase EM using antibodies against HCV core and envelope demonstrated that the particles contained the viral antigens.