GBV-C/HGV infection in hepatitis C virus-infected deferred Swedish blood donors

S Shev, Per Björkman, G Norkrans, U Foberg, A Fryden, G Lindh, A Lindholm, O Weiland, Anders Widell

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Sera from 62 hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected Swedish blood donors were tested by a nested polymerase chain reaction using primers targeting the 5'-noncoding region of the GB virus-C/hepatitis G (GBV-C/HGV) genome and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay that detects antibodies to the envelope protein E2 of GBV-C/HGV (anti-E2). Fourteen (22%) and 21 (34%) of the 62 blood donors were found to be GBV-C/HGV RNA and anti-E2 positive, respectively. None of the blood donors was positive for both GBV-C/HGV RNA and anti-E2. Thus, 35 of 62 (56%) HCV-infected donors had been exposed to GBV-C/HGV infection. At sequencing of the 14 GBV-C/HGV isolates, 12 were identified as subtype 2a and 2 as subtype 2b. One of 7 (14%) donors with mild liver disease such as steatosis and nonspecific reactive hepatitis had been exposed to GBV-C/HGV vs. 34 of 55 (62%) with chronic hepatitis with or without cirrhosis (P = 0.04). All other differences in histology were small between HCV and dual HCV GBV-C/HGV-infected donors. In conclusion, more than half of HCV-infected Swedish blood donors in this study were positive for either GBV-C/HGV RNA or anti-E2. GBV-C/HGV viremia and seropositivity were mutually exclusive.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-79
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1998

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Microbiology in the medical area


  • HGV
  • HCV
  • GBV-C
  • anti-E2
  • blood donors
  • chronic hepatitis


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