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GB virus C/hepatitis G virus and TT virus infections among high risk renal transplant recipients in India

Journal of Clinical Virology
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s1386-6532(02)00239-1
  • Gb Virus C/Hepatitis G Virus Infection
  • Tt Virus Infection
  • Renal Transplant Recipients
  • Design
  • Medicine


Abstract Background: GB virus C/hepatitis G virus (GBV-C/HGV) and TT virus (TTV) have been widely reported in patients with high parenteral risk such as haemodialysis and renal transplant recipients. The occurrence of these agents in association with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV), in Indian renal transplant recipients, is yet unreported. Study design: Molecular and serological markers of GBV-C/HGV and TTV were examined in addition to those for HBV, HCV and hepatitis D virus (HDV) in a selected group of seventy renal transplant recipients. HGV RNA detection was achieved using primers specific for the 5′NCR and NS5a regions of the genome. Anti-GBV-C/HGV antibody was detected using the μ plate anti-HG env kit (Roche, Germany). TTV DNA PCR was performed using primers specific for the coding region (method A) of the genome. In 50% of patients, TTV DNA was also tested for using primers specific for the non-coding region (method B). Host related factors such as age, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels, number of transfusions, haemodialysis sessions, and months following transplantation were also studied. Results: Exposure rates to GBV-C/HGV, TTV (method A), HBV, HCV and HDV were 58.6, 32.9, 52.9, 54.3 and 2.9%, respectively. ‘Active’ infection as measured by viraemia and/or virus-specific antigenaemia for GBV-C/HGV, TTV, HBV and HCV was 52.9, 32.9, 15.7 and 52.9%, respectively. The majority of GBV-C/HGV and TTV infections were seen as co-infections with other hepatitis viruses. Single infection with GBV-C/HGV and TTV was seen in ten (14.2%) and eight (11.4%) patients, and was not associated with ALT elevation when compared to uninfected blood donors. Using univariate analysis, GBV-C/HGV RNA was significantly associated with ≥20 haemodialysis sessions. TTV DNA occurrence was not associated with any risk factors. Conclusions: There is a high occurrence of GBV-C/HGV and TTV in this select group of renal transplant recipients in India. These viruses mostly occured in the context of co-infections with other hepatitis viruses. Long term effects of multiple hepatotropic viral infections need to be carefully documented in such transplant populations.

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