Article

Hepatitis C virus infection in a Japanese leprosy sanatorium for the past 67 years

Department of Pathology, Fujita Health University School of Medicine, Toyoake, Japan.
Journal of Medical Virology (Impact Factor: 2.22). 04/2010; 82(4):556-61. DOI: 10.1002/jmv.21612
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Oku-Komyo-En is one of the national leprosy sanatoria, located on a small island in Setouchi city, Okayama prefecture of Japan since 1938. Since autopsies were carried out routinely on almost all patients who had died in the sanatorium up to 1980, approximately 1,000 formalin-fixed autopsy tissue samples were available for analysis. When these samples were reviewed, the pathological data indicated a sharp rise in the death rate caused by cirrhosis of the liver and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) since 1960 and 1970, respectively. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a common cause of HCC in Japan. The presence of HCV RNA was demonstrated in paraffin sections prepared from the autopsied liver tissue fixed in formalin for a prolonged period of time, by employing nested RT-PCR using type-specific primers. The data showed that HCV RNA was detectable in samples of the liver archived as early as 1940, representing the liver tissues kept in formalin for up to 67 years. HCV genotypes 1b and 2a were found by RT-PCR at 85.7% and 14.3%, respectively, in patients with leprosy.

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    • "Total RNA was extracted from dewaxed sections using RecoverAll Total Nucleic Acid Isolation kit (Applied Biosytems, Austin, TX, USA), according to the manufacturer's protocol, and stored at −80 ∘ C until use. Nested RT-PCR for HCV genotyping was performed, as described previously [24]. "
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    06/2013; 2013:249535. DOI:10.1155/2013/249535
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    • "It is unknown if injured skin resulting from leprosy may facilitate the spread of bloodborne infectious agents. However, reports such as that by Shiogama et al. (2010) have indicated a progressive increase in the liver-related death rate among inpatients of a Japanese sanatorium and there was a high rate of detection of HCV RNA in liver specimens obtained by necropsy, suggesting that blood-borne hepatitis viruses may circulate at higher rates among these individuals. There are few studies assessing the prevalence of viral hepatitis among leprosy patients in Brazil, but none have been performed in MT (Ottati & Candeias 1979, Rosa et al. 1992, 1996). "
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