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Keywords:

  • HGV E2 antibody;
  • education;
  • gender

Abstract:Aims/Background: GB virus-C/hepatitis G virus (HGV) is a newly identified flavivirus, which may share the same mode of transmission as hepatitis C virus (HCV). The aim of this study was to investigate associated factors of HGV infection and clearance in a HCV endemic village in southern Taiwan. Methods: Five hundred and ninety-four residents of a village in southern Taiwan were enrolled for hepatitis virus screening. Clinical features were recorded and a questionnaire addressing the possible routes of transmission was filled in by the participating residents. Results: The prevalence of antibody to hepatitis C virus and hepatitis B surface antigen in the 594 residents was 70.7% and 19.5% respectively. Of the 399 residents tested for HGV RNA, GB virus-C/Hepatitis G virus envelop 2 protein (HGV-E2) antibody, and HCV RNA, the prevalence was 13.5%, 25.3%, 53.1% respectively. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that low educational attainment was associated with HGV infection, old age and low educational attainment were associated with HCV infection, and female gender was associated with HGV clearance. Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) values were significantly higher for residents with HCV infection alone, HBV infection alone, and co-infection of HCV and HBV than for those without HBV, HCV, and HGV infection. There were no differences in ALT values between subjects with HGV infection alone and those without HBV, HCV, and HGV infections. Residents with co-infection of HGV and HBV, or HGV and HCV had ALT values similar to those with HBV or HCV infection alone. Conclusion: HGV infection is common in the HCV endemic village. The transmission of HGV is closely related to low educational attainment. HGV clearance is frequently encountered in females. Co-infection of HGV does not compound hepatocellular inflammation.