GB virus C/hepatitis G virus infection in HIV infected patients with haemophilia despite treatment with virus inactivated clotting factor concentrates

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Abstract

Aim

To determine the frequency of GB virus C (GBV-C)/hepatitis G virus (HGV) infection before and after switch to the use of virus inactivated concentrates in haemophiliac patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Patients and methods

Initial and follow up sera from 49 children with haemophilia were analysed for the presence of GBV-C/HGV RNA and antibodies to HGV (anti-HGV). All patients had been infected with HIV while receiving concentrates without virus inactivation before 1984 and were subsequently treated with virus inactivated concentrates.

Results

In the first available serum sample (1987 or later), two of 49 patients were GBV-C/HGV RNA positive and two further patients were anti-HGV positive. During follow up (mean, 6 years), 14 patients developed markers of GBV-C/HGV infection. Eleven of these had received no blood products except clotting factor concentrates that had been prepared with virus inactivation.

Conclusions

Despite being treated with virus inactivated clotting factor concentrates, HIV positive patients with haemophilia are at an increased risk of manifesting GBV-C/HGV infection. We hypothesise that GBV-C/HGV is transmitted by these clotting factor concentrates. However, we cannot rule out the emergence of markers of GBV-C/HGV infection as a result of the progression of immune impairment in the course of HIV infection.

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