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Significance of antibodies to the recombinant E2 protein of hepatitis G virus in haemodialysis patients


, : Significance of antibodies to the recombinant E2 protein of hepatitis G virus in haemodialysis patients. Journal of Viral Hepatitis 5(5): 341-344

Patients on maintenance haemodialysis represent a high-risk group for parenterally transmitted viral infections, such as hepatitis B, C and G. In addition to hepatitis G virus (HGV) (GBV-C) RNA, analysed in previous studies, we characterized the seroprevalence rates of antibodies to the putative E2 protein (anti-E2) of HGV in a German cohort of patients on maintenance dialysis (n = 72) in comparison to healthy blood donors (n = 100). The presence of anti-E2 and/or HGV RNA as indicators of present or past HGV infection could be demonstrated in 34.7% of patients and in 16% of the blood donors (P < 0.01). The infection rates with HGV seem to increase only during the first 6 years of haemodialysis. The simultaneous presence of viraemia and anti-E2 was found very rarely in patients and controls. Therefore, the emergence of anti-E2 indicates clearance of HGV viraemia. In conclusion, patients on haemodialysis are at high risk of acquiring HGV infection, but a chronic carrier state with viraemia is rare. The risk of infection is not strictly correlated with the duration of dialysis.

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PMID: 9795918


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