A case-control study of transmission routes for GB virus C/hepatitis G virus in Swedish blood donors lacking markers for hepatitis C virus infection

Björkman, P.; Nauclér, A.; Winqvist, N.; Mushahwar, I.; Widell, A.

Vox Sanguinis 81(3): 148-153


ISSN/ISBN: 0042-9007
PMID: 11703856
DOI: 10.1046/j.1423-0410.2001.00098.x
Accession: 010051301

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Background and Objectives The transmission routes for GB virus-C (GBV-C)/hepatitis G virus (HGV) in blood donors unexposed to hepatitis C virus (HCV) are unknown. We performed a case-control study of risk factors for GBV-C/HGV exposure in blood donors. Materials and Methods After testing stored sera from 458 HCV-negative blood donors for GBV-C/HGV RNA and GBV-C/HGV E2 antibodies, 66 donors with GBV-C/HGV markers and 125 age- and gender-matched controls were interviewed regarding risk factors for viral transmission. Results Exposure to GBV-C/HGV was strongly associated with previous treatment for a sexually transmitted disease (odds ratio (OR) 4.6; 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.2-9.8), with multiple sexual partners (OR 2.9; 95% CI 1.4-5.7) and with a past history of endoscopy (OR 7.0; 95% CI 3.0-16.4). Conclusions In blood donors with GBV-C/HGV markers, sexual contacts and medical procedures appear to be the main transmission routes.