Profiles of GBV-C/hepatitis G virus markers in patients coinfected with hepatitis C virus.J Med Virol. 1999 Sep; 59(1):45-51.JM
GBV-C/Hepatitis G virus (GBV-C/HGV) is a newly discovered viral agent, found widely among healthy blood donors and among individuals at risk of parenterally transmitted infections. GBV-C/HGV is found frequently in coinfection with HCV. A population of 109 HCV positive patients was examined for the presence of GBV-C/HGV RNA and antibodies to E2. Of the 109 patients, 23 (21%) had serum GBV-C/HGV RNA in serum, 39 (36%) had only antibodies to E2 and 8 (7%) were positive for both markers, with an overall prevalence of 64%. Different serologic and virological patterns were observed in GBV-C/HGV exposed patients according to their infection status. Active infection was characterized by positive RT/PCR signal with primers for both the 5'UTR and NS5 genomic regions, viremia levels above 10(4) copies/mL by real time quantitative RT/PCR and absence of detectable anti-E2. In the transition phase between active infection and recovery, GBV-C/HGV RNA was only detectable by RT/PCR using primers from the 5' untranslated region and viremia levels were below 10(4) copies/ml by quantitative PCR, with or without simultaneous presence of anti-E2 antibodies. Resolved infection was characterized by absence of detectable viremia and, in most patients, by the presence of anti-E2.