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J Virol Methods. 1999 Jun;80(1):53-8.

Prevalence of GBV-C/hepatitis G virus viraemia among blood donors, health care personnel, chronic non-B non-C hepatitis, chronic hepatitis C and hemodialysis patients in Egypt.

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  • 1Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.


A new RNA virus, designated GBV-C/hepatitis G virus (HGV) has been identified recently. To evaluate the prevalence of GBV-C/HGV infection among Egyptians, five groups were enrolled in this study: group I, healthy blood donors (82); group II, health care personnel (30); group III, chronic non-B non-C hepatitis patients (63); group IV, chronic hepatitis C patients (100); group V, renal dialysis patients (79). GBV-C/HGV-RNA was detected by nested reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using primers derived from 5'-non coding region of GBV-C/HGV. GBV-C/HGV-RNA was detected in 57 of 354 tested sera with an overall prevalence of 16.1%. Meanwhile, isolated GBV-C/HGV infection was detected in 16/57 (28.1%), GBV-C/HGV coinfection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) in 37/57 (64.9%) and with hepatitis B virus (HBV) in 4/57 (7.6%) of cases. The highest prevalence was encountered among dialysis patients reaching 30% followed by chronic hepatitis C (14%), blood donors (12.2%), chronic non-B non-C hepatitis (11.1%), whereas the lowest prevalence rate of 6.6% was detected among health care personnel. Nucleotide sequence analysis in three Egyptians confirmed that these PCR products were derived from GBV-C/HGV genome and all isolates classified into US/European type (type 2) of GBV-C/HGV genotypes. The risk factors of all cases were non-transfusion parenteral exposure, e.g. reusing syringes, dental treatment, surgery, invasive medical maneuvers, with an exception of renal dialysis patients who have had repeated blood transfusion. It is concluded that there is a relatively high prevalence of GBV-C/HGV-RNA among different Egyptian groups compared to international figures. The main risk factors were direct percutaneous exposure rather than blood transfusion. The Egyptian GBV-C/HGV isolates are very similar to the American isolate PNF 2161.

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