Journal Article

High prevalence of hepatitis G virus (HGV) infections in dialysis staff.

B C Gärtner, H Kaul, A G Neutzling, M Sauter, N Mueller-Lantzsch and H Köhler

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 14, issue 2, pages 406-408
Published in print February 1999 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online February 1999 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ndt/14.2.406
High prevalence of hepatitis G virus (HGV) infections in dialysis staff.

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BACKGROUND: Patients on renal replacement therapy, haemodialysis (HD), or after kidney transplantation (TX), are known to be at risk of acquiring blood-borne infections (HBV, HCV). GBV-C/Hepatitis G virus (HGV) has been described recently and is considered to cause blood-borne infections. The aim of this study was to analyse the risk for the medical staff of HD and TX patients to acquire HGV infection. METHODS: Eighty-five HD patients and 86 TX recipients were compared with 49 health-care workers and 64 blood donors as controls. The HGV prevalence was determined by RT-PCR and antibodies to E2 protein. RESULTS: A high prevalence of HGV was found in the medical staff (24%) which nearly corresponded to the prevalence of the patients (TX 36%, HD 25%) but not to the controls (9%). In contrast, the prevalence of HCV was low in the medical staff (2%) and controls (0%) but high in HD (13%) and TX (13%). Age and duration of employment in the department did not significantly influence the HGV prevalence in staff. The number of viraemic subjects in staff was high, possibly indicating a more recent infection. CONCLUSION: An occupational risk for HGV exists in medical staff of dialysis and transplant patients. Further routes of transmission than only parenteral may play a role in this setting.

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Subjects: Nephrology

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