Journal Article

A High Prevalence of Serum GB Virus C/Hepatitis G Virus RNA in Children with and without Liver Disease

Robert Halasz, Björn Fischler, Antal Nemeth, Suzana Lundholm and Matti Sällberg

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 28, issue 3, pages 537-540
Published in print March 1999 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online March 1999 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/515157
A High Prevalence of Serum GB Virus C/Hepatitis G Virus RNA in Children with and without Liver Disease

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The role of GB virus C/hepatitis G virus (GBV-C/HGV) in adult and pediatric liver disease is unclear. We detected serum GBV-C/HGV RNA by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction in 1 (3%) of 38 cholestatic infants, in 4 (4%) of 95 children without liver disease, and in none of 30 children with autoimmune hepatitis. One cholestatic infant had antibodies, presumably maternal, to GBV-C/HGV. Sequence analysis of a nonstructural 3 region fragment suggested that mother-to-infant transmission was the route of infection for the cholestatic infant. The four infected children without liver disease had normal liver function test results and lacked risk factors for bloodborne infections. Thus, the detection of GBV-C/HGV RNA among children with and without liver disease suggests that chronic GBV-C/ HGV infections may be established early in life, possibly by mother-to-infant transmission. This may explain in part the high prevalence of serum GBV-C/HGV RNA and antibodies in healthy adults.

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Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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