Prevalence and distribution of the GBV-C/HGV among HIV-1-infected patients under anti-retroviral therapy.Virus Res. 2010 Aug; 151(2):148-52.VR
Infection with GB virus C (GBV-C) or hepatitis G virus (HGV) is highly prevalent among HIV/AIDS patients. GBV-C/HGV viremia has not been associated with liver disease and seems to slow HIV disease progression. To study the GBV-C/HGV genotypes prevalence among HIV/AIDS patients and its association with HIV viral load (VL) and CD4+ lymphocyte counts. From February 2003 to February 2004, we analyzed 210 HIV-1-infected subjects who were on anti-retroviral therapy (ART). For 63 of them a PCR-nested to the non-coding 5' (5'NCR) region of the GBV-C/HGV was done, and for 49 a DNA direct sequencing was done. A phylogenetic analysis was performed by PHYLIP program. 63 (30%) of the HIV-1-infected patients were co-infected with GBV-C/HGV. The phylogenetic analysis revealed the following genotypes (and respective relative frequencies): 1 (10%), 2a (41%), 2b (43%), and 3 (6%). Co-infected patients presented lower HIV-1 VL and higher T CD4+ lymphocyte cells counts as compared with patients negative for GBV-C/HGV sequences (log=4.52 vs. 4.71, p=0.036), and T CD4+ lymphocyte counts (cells/mm(3)=322.6 vs. 273.5, p=0.081, respectively). T CD4+ cells counts equal to, or higher than, 200/mm(3) were significantly more common among co-infected patients than among HIV-infected-only patients (p=0.042). The lowest T CD4+ cells counts were associated with genotype 1 and the highest with genotype 2b (p=0.05). The GBV-C/HGV infection prevalence was 30% among HIV-1-infected subjects, and was associated with lower VL and higher CD4+ lymphocyte counts. GBV-C/HGV genotype 2b may be associated with better immunological response.