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The prevalence, incidence, clinical features, and natural history of hepatitis G virus (HGV) or GB virus C (GBV-C) were investigated in a non-remunerated blood donor population to determine its clinical significance and its impact on blood safety. Of 1020 regular blood donors, 23 (2.25%) were positive for plasma HGV/GBV-C RNA. Alanine aminotransferase levels were lower than in uninfected donors (median, 20 IU/mL; 32 IU/mL in controls; P=.015). Clinical examination produced no other evidence for hepatitis or for shared nonhepatic diseases. Fifteen of 17 donors excreted HGV/GBV-C in saliva (mean level, 8x103 copies of RNA/mL). Testing of previous donations indicated an incidence of 170-200 new infections with HGV/GBV-C per 100,000 donor-years. The absence of further clinicopathologic data and the limitations of current polymerase chain reaction-based methods for screening suggests that it is neither necessary nor practical to commence screening.

Type

Journal article

Journal

J Infect Dis

Publication Date

12/1998

Volume

178

Pages

1779 - 1782

Keywords

Adult, Blood Donors, Blood Transfusion, Female, Flaviviridae, Hepacivirus, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis, Viral, Human, Humans, Incidence, Male, Middle Aged, Prevalence, RNA, Viral, Safety, Saliva, Scotland