Hepatitis B virus DNA in peripheral blood leukocytes: A brief review


  • Tim J. Harrison

    Corresponding author
    1. Academic Department of Medicine, The Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, London, England
    • Academic Department of Medicine, Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, Rowland Hill Street, London, NW3 2PF, United Kingdom
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Despite being essentially hepatotropic, hepatitis B virus has frequently been detected in peripheral blood leukocytes. In most cases, viral DNA has been detected by hybridisation, though, occasionally, evidence of viral RNA and virus-specific proteins has been reported. Though definitive evidence is lacking, it appears likely that the virus is able to replicate in at least a subfraction of these cells. The possible consequences with respect to the transmission and reactivation of virus infections are discussed.