Effect of coinfection with GB virus C on survival among patients with HIV infection.N Engl J Med. 2001 Sep 06; 345(10):707-14.NEJM
Previous studies have suggested that people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection who are coinfected with GB virus C (GBV-C, or hepatitis G virus) have delayed progression of HIV disease. GBV-C is related to hepatitis C virus but does not appear to cause liver disease.
We examined the effect of coinfection with GBV-C on the survival of patients with HIV infection. We also evaluated cultures of peripheral-blood mononuclear cells infected with both viruses to determine whether GBV-C infection alters replication in vitro.
Of 362 HIV-infected patients, 144 (39.8 percent) had GBV-C viremia in two tests. Forty-one of the patients with GBV-C viremia (28.5 percent) died during the follow-up period, as compared with 123 of the 218 patients who tested negative for GBV-C RNA (56.4 percent; P<0.001). The mean duration of follow-up for the entire cohort was 4.1 years. In a Cox regression analysis adjusted for HIV treatment, baseline CD4+ T-cell count, age, sex, race, and mode of transmission of HIV, the mortality rate among the 218 HIV-infected patients without GBV-C coinfection was significantly higher than that among the 144 patients with GBV-C coinfection (relative risk, 3.7; 95 percent confidence interval, 2.5 to 5.4). HIV replication, as measured by the detection of p24 antigen in culture supernatants, was reproducibly inhibited in cultures of peripheral-blood mononuclear cells by GBV-C coinfection. Coinfection did not alter the surface expression of HIV cellular receptors on peripheral-blood mononuclear cells, as determined by flow cytometry.
GBV-C infection is common in people with HIV infection and is associated with significantly improved survival.