GBV-C/HGV infection in renal dialysis and transplant patients

A. Szabo, S. Viazov, U. Heemann, A. Kribben, T. Philipp, M. Roggendorf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Background. Recently a new human virus (GBV-C/HGV) was identified. With the use of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) the possibility of a high prevalence of the GBV-C/HGV infection in haemodialysis patients was demonstrated. The aim of the present study was to use a combination of the PCR and a new diagnostic test for antibodies to the viral envelope protein E2 to assess the prevalence of the GBV-C/HGV infection in German patients with renal failure. Methods. RT-PCR and ELISA were used to detect GBV-C/HGV RNA and antiviral antibodies (anti-E2) in the sera of 31 patients on a maintenance haemodialysis (HD)), 25 patients on a peritoneal dyalisis (CAPD), and 92 renal transplant patients (RT). Results. A statistical trend was noted for a higher rate of the GBV-C/HGV RNA in the whole group of patients with renal failure (11.5%) than in the control group of organ donors (5.5%); The difference between GBV-C/HGV RNA prevalence in RT patients (15.2%) and in organ donors (5.5%) was found to be significant. Anti-E2, which are considered as an indicator of a past GBV-C/HGV infection, were detected in 12.9% of HD patients, in 20.0% of CAPD patients, in 10.9% of RT patients, in 11.1% of organ donors, and in 10.9% of blood donors. These differences were not significant. Time on haemodialysis was significantly longer in GBV-C/HGV infected patients compared to uninfected patients and all patients with the GBV-C/HGV RNA have a history of blood transfusions. Conclusions. Patients with renal failure treated with dialysis or subjected to renal transplantation are at increased risk of aquiring the GBV-C/HGV infection. Higher rates of the GBV-C/HGV RNA and a similar prevalence of anti-E2 in patients with renal failure as compared to donors suggest that the rate of GBV-C/HGV infection resolution in immunosuppressed patients with renal failure might be lower than in immunocompetent patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2380-2384
Number of pages5
JournalNephrology Dialysis Transplantation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-E2
  • GBV-C
  • HGV
  • Haemodialysis
  • Liver disease
  • Peritoneal dialysis
  • Renal transplantation


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