GBV-C RNA presence in several high-risk groups of Spain

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GB virus C subtype (GBV-C) seems to share the same routes of transmission as other parenteral transmitted viruses. We have evaluated the prevalence of GBV-C in 247 patients with potential risk for GBV-C infection and in 91 healthy blood donors. The presence of GBV-C RNA was examined by polymerase chain reaction in serum samples. The 23.6% of parenteral drug users were GBV-C positive, 36.3% of them were also HIV infected. Moreover, 22.5 and 19% of sera from patients with HBV and HCV chronic hepatitis, respectively, but without apparent risk factors seemed GBV-C infected. Finally, the 6% of patients on hemodialysis were also positive. Therefore, these results suggest that GBV-C is transmitted by parenteral routes but other non-parenteral routes shared with HBV or HCV must be considered.

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