Prevalence and clinical significance of HGV/GBV-C infection in patients with chronic hepatitis B or C.Jpn J Infect Dis. 2006 Feb; 59(1):25-30.JJ
Hepatitis G virus/GB virus-C (HGV/GBV-C) is a newly identified Flavivirus. Its clinical significance in chronic hepatitis B and C remains controversial. Infection with HGV/GBV-C was surveyed in 500 blood donors, 130 patients with chronic hepatitis B and 173 with hepatitis C, with chronic liver disease, cirrhosis, and/or hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). HGV/GBV-C RNA was detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. An antibody to HGV/GBV-C's second envelope protein (anti-E2 Ab) was detected using an enzyme immunoassay. The prevalence of HGV/GBV-C RNA was 3.4% and the exposure rate 10.2% in blood donors. The prevalence of HGV/GBV-C RNA in patients with chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C was 7.7 and 17.3%, respectively (P = 0.002). The prevalence of the HGV/GBV-C infection in hepatitis B carriers increased with the severity of chronic liver disease and risk of HCC. The age and duration of hepatitis B virus infection were the more important contributing factors. Clinical and virological characteristics were comparable between those with and without coinfection of HGV/GBV-C and hepatitis C. The seroconversion rate was high. Coinfection of HGV/GBV-C with hepatitis B or C does not affect disease severity, but accelerates the progression of chronic liver disease and the development of HCC.