Exosome-associated hepatitis C virus in cell cultures and patient plasma

Ziqing Liu, Xiugen Zhang, Qigui Yu, Johnny J. He

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects its target cells in the form of cell-free viruses and through cell-cell contact. Here we report that HCV is associated with exosomes. Using highly purified exosomes and transmission electron microscopic imaging, we demonstrated that HCV occurred in both exosome-free and exosome-associated forms. Exosome-associated HCV was infectious and resistant to neutralization by an anti-HCV neutralizing antibody. There were more exosome-associated HCV than exosome-free HCV detected in the plasma of HCV-infected patients. These results suggest exosome-associated HCV as an alternative form for HCV infection and transmission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-222
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 12 Dec 2014


  • Exosome
  • HCV
  • Infection
  • Neutralizing antibody
  • Patient plasma
  • TEM imaging


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