Hepatitis G virus exposure in dialysis patients
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Hepatitis G virus (HGV) is a blood-borne virus. The predominant route of its transmission is parenteral. The aim of this study was to assess the frequency of HGV exposure in haemodialysis (HD) and continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD) patients in Iran.
This study was performed in a major dialysis centre in Tehran, Iran. The study cohort consisted of 77 patients on HD and 13 patients on CAPD. The presence of anti-HGV envelope protein E2 (anti-E2) in the blood serum, as determined by means of an ELISA assay, indicated HGV exposure. All patients were also screened for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs) and hepatitis C antibody (anti-HCV). In patients who tested positive for anti-E2, HGV RNA was detected by RT-PCR using primers derived from the NS5A region of the viral genome.
In total, 3.89% of the HD patients and none of the CAPD patients tested positive for anti-E2. None of the patients tested positive for HGV RNA. The mean age of the anti-E2-positive patients was 53.3 ± 26.5 years, with 66.66% having previously received blood transfusion. The mean duration of dialysis of the anti-E2-positive patients was 68 ± 64 months. Co-infection with HCV or HBV was not observed in the anti-E2 positive patients.
The rate of exposure to HGV was low among the dialysis patients in our study. The appearance of anti-E2 was accompanied by clearance of serum HGV-RNA. No relationship was noted between HGV exposure and age, sex, history of blood transfusion, time on dialysis and HCV or HBV markers.
KeywordsAnti-HGV envelope protein E2 Continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis Haemodialysis Hepatitis G virus
The authors are grateful to the Pasteur Institute of Iran for financial support of this study. Special thanks are extended to Ms. Jaleh Taeb for her contribution in writing this publication.
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