Recently, a novel hepatitis virus, GB virus C/hepatitis G virus (GBV-C/HGV), has been isolated. To elucidate the seroprevalence of chronic GBV-C/HGV infection in Japan and the phylogenetic relationship between Japanese strains and the strains previously reported, serum GBV-C/HGV RNA was detected by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in 203 patients with chronic liver diseases and 200 samples of voluntary blood donors. RT-PCR was performed with primers derived from the 5'-untranslated region which were conserved between GBV-C and HGV and distant from other flaviviruses including hepatitis C virus (HCV). The nucleotide sequences were determined by the dideoxy chain termination method. The phylogenetic analysis was performed by the neighbor-joining method. In 10 (4.7%) of 203 patients with chronic liver diseases and in 1 (0.5%) of 200 blood donor samples, serum GBV-C/HGV RNA was detected. Of 10 patients, 9 patients were positive for anti-HCV and negative for HBsAg, and 1 patient was positive for HBsAg and negative for anti-HCV. The phylogenetic analysis indicated that there were three major groups which were group 1 (GBV-C), group 2 (HGV), and group 3 (a group of Japanese strains). These data indicated that (1) there was a low prevalence of GBV-C/HGV infection in Japanese patients with chronic liver diseases, (2) a high proportion of patients with GBV-C/HGV infection had chronic HCV infection however, and (3) there were at least three groups in strains of GBV-C/HGV.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research
- Infectious Diseases