Prevalence of hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and GB virus C/hepatitis G virus infections in liver disease patients and inhabitants in Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam.J Med Virol. 1998 Apr; 54(4):243-8.JM
The prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and GB virus C or hepatitis G virus (GBV-C/HGV) infections was determined in 289 patients with liver disease in Ho Chi Minh City and 890 healthy inhabitants of its rural area, Dalat City, Vietnam, respectively. Serum HCV RNA and GBV-C/HGV RNA were detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). HBsAg, HCV antibodies, and GBV-C/HGV RNA were detected in 139 (47%), 69 (23%), and ten (3%) subjects, respectively, often accompanied by elevated serum levels of alanine aminotransferase. HBsAg and HCV antibodies or HCV antibodies and GBV-C/HGV RNA were detectable simultaneously in 8% and 2% of the patients, respectively. In the inhabitants, HBsAg, HCV antibodies, and GBV-C/HGV RNA were found in 51 (5.7%), nine (1.0%), and 11 (1.2%) subjects, respectively. Thus, the prevalence of HBsAg, HCV antibodies, and GBV-C/HGV RNA was significantly higher in liver disease patients than those in the general population. In the samples from 69 patients and nine inhabitants who were seropositive for HCV antibodies, HCV RNA was detectable in 42 (61%) and 4 (44%), respectively. In patients with liver disease, ten belonged to HCV genotype 1a, ten to HCV 1b, three to HCV 2a, four to HCV 2b, and two to HCV 3a by PCR with genotype-specific primers. Nine patients had mixed genotypes, and the remaining four were not classified. Of the GBV-C/HGV RNA-positive individuals, two patients and two inhabitants were positive for HBsAg, while none of the residents had HCV antibodies, although six HCV antibodies (60%) and four HCV RNA (40%) were found in patients. When a phylogenetic tree of GBV-C/HGV was constructed based on the nucleotide sequences, the 21 isolates were classified into at least two genotypes; four isolates belonged to G2, and 17 to G3. The results indicate that in Ho Chi Minh HCV infection prevails with broad distribution of genotypes together with HBV infection among patients with liver disease. This study suggests that GBV-C/HGV infection occurs independently in the two different districts in association with HCV infection.