Prevalence of GBV-C/hepatitis G virus RNA and E2 antibody among subjects infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 after parenteral or sexual exposure.J Med Virol. 1999 Aug; 58(4):373-7.JM
GB virus C (GBV-C) or hepatitis G virus (HGV) is transmitted by the parenteral route but the importance of sexual transmission needs to be ascertained. GBV-C/HGV infections were investigated using RNA and E2-antibody detection methods in 80 subjects infected by the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) divided into 4 groups of 20 individuals each according to their main risk factor for HIV-1 infection: blood product recipients (group 1), intravenous drug users (group 2), homosexuals (group 3), or heterosexual exposure (group 4). The overall prevalence of GBV-C/HGV infection was 66.3%. No significant difference was observed in GBV-C/ HGV prevalence among the four groups: 75, 75, 55, and 60% in groups 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies, used as a control for parenteral exposure, were found in 70% and 90% of the subjects in groups 1 and 2 versus only 15% and 20% of the subjects in groups 3 and 4, respectively (P< .001). Similarly, coinfections with GBV-C/HGV and HCV were significantly associated with the parenteral route (P <.001). These data emphasized the usefulness of combining the detection of RNA and the E2 antibody to determine the actual prevalence of GBV-C/HGV infection. The high prevalence of the GBV-C/HGV markers among the HIV-1-infected subjects, especially those with sexual exposure, provides additional evidence that this route of transmission plays a key role in the epidemiology of GBV-C/HGV. The potential influence of GBV-C/HGV infection on the course of HIV-1 disease needs further evaluation.