Intraspousal Transmission of GB Virus C/Hepatitis G Virus in an Hepatitis C Virus Hyperendemic Area in Japan

Akiyoshi, Fuyuhiko; Sata, Michio; Noguchi, Seiji; Suzuki, Hiroshi; Ide, Tatsuya; Uchimura, Yasuyo; Sasaki, Masaru; Tanaka, Kumi; Miyajima, Ichiro; Mizokami, Masashi; Tanikawa, Kyuichi
June 1999
American Journal of Gastroenterology;Jun1999, Vol. 94 Issue 6, p1627
Academic Journal
OBJECTIVE: An immunoassay for antibodies against an hepatitis G virus (HGV) protein (anti-E2) was recently developed that might serve as a useful marker for diagnosing recovery from HGV infection. METHODS: We investigated the intraspousal transmission of GB virus C/hepatitis G virus (GBV-C/HGV) using both reverse transcription hemipolymerase chain reaction (RT-hemi-PCR for the 5′ untranslated region) and a recently developed anti-E2. RESULTS: Thirty-two GBV-C/HGV-infected index subjects were selected from an hepatitis C virus hyperendemic area in Japan. Of the 32 subjects, seven (6.4%) were GBV-C/ HGV RNA-positive, 24 (21.8%) were anti-E2-positive, and one (0.9%) was both GBV-C/HGV RNA- and anti-E2-positive. Among the 32 spouses of these subjects, GBV-C/HGV RNA, anti-E2, and both GBV-C/HGV RNA and anti-E2 positivity were detected in 0, 6, (18.8%), and one (3.1%) spouses, respectively (the total prevalence of GBV-C/HGV was 7 spouses [21.9%]). Thus, the intraspousal transmission of GBV-C/HGV was undeniable in these seven couples. The respective positive rates of 175 sex- and age-matched controls were 7 (4.0%), 26 (14.9%), and 0 (the total prevalence of GBV-C/HGV was 34 [19.4%]). No significant difference in positive rates was observed between the subjects/spouses and the controls. Five spouses among the seven couples who were positive for any of GBV-C/HGV markers had parenteral risk factors such as blood transfusion, acupuncture, and major surgery. CONCLUSION: Based on these observations, we cannot draw a definitive conclusion that intraspousal transmission of GBV-C/HGV had occurred among these seven couples.


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