Short communication: Evaluation of GB virus C/hepatitis G viral load among HIV type 1-coinfected patients in São Paulo, Brazil.AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2012 Oct; 28(10):1301-4.AR
Recent studies suggest that GB virus C/hepatitis G virus (GBV-C/HGV) infection in HIV-positive individuals is associated with a slower progression to AIDS, leading to a lower HIV viral load and higher counts of CD4(+) T cells, although many studies have failed to demonstrate these beneficial effects. We developed a Real-Time PCR (TaqMan RT qPCR) to quantify the viral load of GBV-C/HGV in 102 HIV-1-infected patients, who were also evaluated for the presence of anti-E2. The prevalence of GBV-C/HGV infection was 21% among infected patients and the mean plasma viral load was 3.62 ± 0.64 log(10) copies/ml. Despite the high prevalence, there was no statistical difference when we compared the mean viral load (p≤0.46) and the average count of CD4(+) (p≤0.29) and CD8(+) (p≤0.64) among patients infected by GBV-C/HGV and HIV and patients infected only by HIV. This fact can be explained by the number of patients included in the study. Nevertheless, compared to other studies, we observed a discrete number of patients with undetectable HIV load and lower median viral load in the group presenting GBV-C/HGV RNA. Our study suggests that there may be an impact on HIV viral load in GBV-C/HGV-coinfected patients. However, further studies are needed to elucidate the molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in this viral interaction, previously reported in other studies, with the aim of contributing to the development of new targets for drugs against HIV.