Prevalence studies of GB virus-C infection using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction

George J. Dawson, George G. Schlauder, Tami J. Pilot-Matias, Dwain L Thiele, Thomas P. Leary, Paul Murphy, Jon E. Rosenblatt, John N. Simons, Francis E A Martinson, Robin A. Gutierrez, Joseph R. Lentino, Constance Pachucki, A. Scott Muerhoff, Anders Widell, Gary Tegtmeier, Suresh Desai, Isa K. Mushahwar

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Among the three recently described GB viruses (GBV-A, GBV-B, and GBV-C), only GBV-C has been linked to cryptogenic hepatitis in man. Because of the limited utility of currently available research tests to determine antibody response to GBV-C proteins, the prevalence of GBV-C RNA in human sera was studied using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The prevalence of GBV-C is higher among volunteer blood donors with elevated serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels (3.9%) than among volunteer blood donors with normal ALS levels (0.8%). Higher rates were also noted among commercial blood donors (12.9%) and intravenous drug users (16.0%). GBV-C was frequently detected in residents of West Africa, where the prevalence was >10% in most age groups. Approximately 20% of patients diagnosed with either acute or chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) were found to be positive for GBV-C RNA. In addition, GBV-C RNA sequences were detected in individuals diagnosed with non-A-E hepatitis, with clinical courses ranging from mild disease to fulminant hepatitis. Fourteen of sixteen subjects with or without clinically apparent hepatitis were positive for GBV-C RNA more than 1 year after the initial positive result.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-103
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1996


  • GBV-C
  • HCV
  • Hepatitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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    Dawson, G. J., Schlauder, G. G., Pilot-Matias, T. J., Thiele, D. L., Leary, T. P., Murphy, P., Rosenblatt, J. E., Simons, J. N., Martinson, F. E. A., Gutierrez, R. A., Lentino, J. R., Pachucki, C., Muerhoff, A. S., Widell, A., Tegtmeier, G., Desai, S., & Mushahwar, I. K. (1996). Prevalence studies of GB virus-C infection using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction. Journal of Medical Virology, 50(1), 97-103.<97::AID-JMV16>3.0.CO;2-V