Epidemiology of GB virus C/hepatitis G virus infection in patients on peritoneal dialysis

Fabrizio Fabrizi, Amedeo F. De Vecchi, Giovanna Lunghi, Silvia Finazzi, Sergio Bisegna, Claudio Ponticelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


◆ Background: A new genus in the family Flaviviridae has recently been discovered; it has provisionally been designated GBV-C/HGV. As determined by virologic techniques [reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR)], infection with GBV-C/HGV is frequent in renal transplant (RT) recipients and in patients on chronic hemodialysis (HD). The epidemiology of GBV-C/HGV infection in patients on peritoneal dialysis is scarce and mostly based on RT-PCR technology. ◆ Purpose: We report on the prevalence (as detected by serologic and virologic techniques) and the risk factors for GBV-C/HGV infection in a cohort of patients on continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD). We also tested a control group of blood donors. ◆ Methods: Infection by GBV-C/HGV was assessed by serologic and virologic techniques. Cases of GBV-C/HGV viremia (GBV-C/HGV RNA) were detected by RT-PCR. Antibodies to the envelope protein of GBV-C/HGV (anti-E2 GBV-C/HGV antibody) were analyzed by serologic methods ◆ Results: We found a high frequency [17/85 (20%)] of GBV-C/HGV. The rates of GBV-C/HGV viremia and anti-E2 GBV-C/HGV positivity were 10.5% (9/85) and 10.5% (9/85) respectively. In most patients [17/18 (94%)], the presence of anti-E2 GBV-C/HGV antibody was associated with clearance of GBV-C/HGV from serum. No relationship was noted between anti-E2 GBV-C/HGV antibody (or GBV-C/HGV viremia) and age, sex, race, time on dialysis, anti-HCV antibody, HBsAg status, and anti-HIV positivity. The frequency of GBV-C/HGV infection in CAPD patients was much higher than that in blood donors, even if the difference did not approach statistical significance. No associations between GBV-C/HGV positivity and biochemical liver tests [aminotransferase and gamma glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT)] were apparent. ◆ Conclusions: Infection by GBV-C/HGV as detected by RT-PCR and anti-E2 antibody was common in patients on CAPD and in controls alike. No association was seen between GBV-C/HGV and various demographic or clinical factors. The clinical significance of GBV-C/HGV in CAPD remains unclear. Larger investigations are in progress.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-410
Number of pages6
JournalPeritoneal Dialysis International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2002


  • Anti-E2 GBV-C/HGV antibody
  • GBV-C/HGV viremia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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