Journal Article

Prevalence of hepatitis G virus RNA and anti-E2 in a Japanese haemodialysis population.

A Shibuya, A Takeuchi, K Kamata, K Saigenji, N Kobayashi and A Yoshida

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Volume 13, issue 8, pages 2033-2036
Published in print August 1998 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online August 1998 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Prevalence of hepatitis G virus RNA and anti-E2 in a Japanese haemodialysis population.

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BACKGROUND: Patients on maintenance haemodialysis (HD) are at greater risk of parenterally transmitted infection with not only A-E hepatitis virus but also with hepatitis G virus (HGV) that has been recovered from patients with non A-E hepatitis. The prevalence of HGV infection in HD patients, which is based on the detection of HGV RNA using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction techniques, differs widely between countries. Recently, a new assay has been developed that detects an antibody to the envelope protein (E2) of HGV (anti-E2) that appears to be associated with the loss of HGV RNA from the serum and which may be a useful marker for previous HGV infection. METHODS: To determine the actual prevalence of HGV infection in maintenance HD patients, we examined both HGV RNA and anti-E2 antibody in sera from 200 patients undergoing maintenance HD. RESULTS: Thirty patients (15%) tested positive for HGV RNA, and 14 (7%) tested positive for E2 antibody. Of these, two individuals tested positive for both markers. Overall, 21% of these HD patients had been exposed to HGV. A logistic regression analysis failed to show any clinical feature associated with the detection of HGV RNA. The duration of HD and the presence of HCV RNA were associated with anti-E2. Male gender and HCV RNA were risk factors for the elevation of serum ALT activities. HGV RNA sequences of the patients were not identical to each other. CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicate that HGV infection is prevalent in patients undergoing HD but that liver abnormalities are rare. The nosocomial transmission of HGV in the HD unit was not confirmed.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Nephrology

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