(1/734) A prospective study on TT virus infection in transfusion-dependent patients with beta-thalassemia.

A novel DNA virus designated TT virus (TTV) has been reported to be involved in the development of posttransfusion non-A-C hepatitis. We evaluated the frequency and natural course of TTV infection in a cohort of transfusion-dependent thalassemic patients in a 3-year follow-up study. Ninety-three serum hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody-negative patients (median age of 8 years; range, 0 to 25) from eight centers were studied. Of them, 34 (37%) had an abnormal alanine-aminotransferase (ALT) baseline pattern, and the other 12 (13%) showed ALT flare-ups during the follow-up. TTV DNA in patient sera collected at the time of enrollment and at the end of follow-up was determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). In parallel, serum samples from 100 healthy blood donors were also tested. At baseline, 87 patient sera (93.5%) tested positive for the TTV DNA. Of these TTV DNA-positive patients, 84 (96.5%) remained viremic at the end of the study period. Of the 6 TTV DNA-negative patients, 3 acquired TTV infection during follow-up. However, no definite relation was observed between the results of TTV DNA determination and ALT patterns. TTV viremia was also detectable in 22% of blood donors. In conclusion, TTV infection is frequent and persistent among Italian transfusion-dependent patients. The high rate of viremia observed in healthy donors indicates that the parenteral route is not the only mode of TTV spread.  (+info)

(2/734) Carriage of GB virus C/hepatitis G virus RNA is associated with a slower immunologic, virologic, and clinical progression of human immunodeficiency virus disease in coinfected persons.

The prevalence of GB virus C (GBV-C) infection is high in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected persons. However, the long-term consequences of coinfection are unknown. HIV-positive persons with a well-defined duration of infection were screened on the basis of their GBV-C/hepatitis G virus (HGV) RNA status and studied. GBV-C/HGV viremia was observed in 23, who carried the virus over a mean of 7.7 years. All parameters (survival, CDC stage B/C, HIV RNA load, CD4 T cell count) showed significant differences in terms of the cumulative progression rate between persons positive and negative for GBV-C/HGV RNA. When GBV-C/HGV RNA-positive and -unexposed subjects were matched by age, sex, baseline HIV RNA load, and baseline CD4 T cell count, HIV disease progression appeared worse in GBV-C/HGV RNA-negative subjects. The carriage of GBV-C/HGV RNA is associated with a slower progression of HIV disease in coinfected persons.  (+info)

(3/734) Liver disease in pregnancy.

Acute viral hepatitis is the most common cause of jaundice in pregnancy. The course of acute hepatitis is unaffected by pregnancy, except in patients with hepatitis E and disseminated herpes simplex infections, in which maternal and fetal mortality rates are significantly increased. Chronic hepatitis B or C infections may be transmitted to neonates; however, hepatitis B virus transmission is effectively prevented with perinatal hepatitis B vaccination and prophylaxis with hepatitis B immune globulin. Cholelithiasis occurs in 6 percent of pregnancies; complications can safely be treated with surgery. Women with chronic liver disease or cirrhosis exhibit a higher risk of fetal loss during pregnancy. Preeclampsia is associated with HELLP (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes and low platelet count) syndrome, acute fatty liver of pregnancy, and hepatic infarction and rupture. These rare diseases result in increased maternal and fetal mortality. Treatment involves prompt delivery, whereupon the liver disease quickly reverses. Therapy with penicillamine, trientine, prednisone or azathioprine can be safely continued during pregnancy.  (+info)

(4/734) High prevalence of hepatitis G virus (HGV) infections in dialysis staff.

BACKGROUND: Patients on renal replacement therapy, haemodialysis (HD), or after kidney transplantation (TX), are known to be at risk of acquiring blood-borne infections (HBV, HCV). GBV-C/Hepatitis G virus (HGV) has been described recently and is considered to cause blood-borne infections. The aim of this study was to analyse the risk for the medical staff of HD and TX patients to acquire HGV infection. METHODS: Eighty-five HD patients and 86 TX recipients were compared with 49 health-care workers and 64 blood donors as controls. The HGV prevalence was determined by RT-PCR and antibodies to E2 protein. RESULTS: A high prevalence of HGV was found in the medical staff (24%) which nearly corresponded to the prevalence of the patients (TX 36%, HD 25%) but not to the controls (9%). In contrast, the prevalence of HCV was low in the medical staff (2%) and controls (0%) but high in HD (13%) and TX (13%). Age and duration of employment in the department did not significantly influence the HGV prevalence in staff. The number of viraemic subjects in staff was high, possibly indicating a more recent infection. CONCLUSION: An occupational risk for HGV exists in medical staff of dialysis and transplant patients. Further routes of transmission than only parenteral may play a role in this setting.  (+info)

(5/734) Sequence heterogeneity within three different regions of the hepatitis G virus genome.

Two sets of primers derived from the 5'-terminal region and the NS5 region of the hepatitis G virus (HGV) genome were used to amplify PCR fragments from serum specimens obtained from different parts of the world. All PCR fragments from the 5'-terminal region (5'-PCR, n = 56) and from the NS5 region (NS5-PCR, n = 85) were sequenced and compared to corresponding published HGV sequences. The range of nucleotide sequence similarity varied from 74 and 78% to 100% for 5'-PCR and NS5-PCR fragments, respectively. Additionally, five overlapping PCR fragments comprising an approximately 2.0-kb structural region of the HGV genome were sequenced from each of five sera obtained from three United States residents. These sequences were compared to 20 published sequences comprising the same region of the HGV genome. Nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences obtained from different individuals were homologous from 82.9 to 93. 6% and from 90.4 to 99.0%, respectively. Sequences obtained from follow-up specimens were almost identical. Comparative analysis of deduced amino acid sequences of the HGV structural proteins and hepatitis C virus (HCV) structural proteins combined with an analysis of predicted secondary structures and hydrophobic profiles allowed prediction of processing sites within the HGV structural proteins. A phylogenetic sequence analysis performed on the 2.0-kb structural region supports the existence of three previously identified HGV genetic groups. However, phylogenetic analysis performed on only small DNA fragments yielded inconsistent genetic grouping and failed to confirm the existence of genetic groups. Thus, in contrast to HCV where almost any region can be used for genotyping, only large or carefully selected genome fragments can be used to identify consistent HGV genetic groups.  (+info)

(6/734) Identification of a novel genotype of hepatitis G virus in Southeast Asia.

Hepatitis G virus (HGV) isolates obtained from 20 Myanmarese and 10 Vietnamese subjects were analyzed. A cluster of isolates not belonging to any known genotype of HGV was found in five Myanmarese subjects and three Vietnamese subjects by phylogenetic analysis, and we classified this new genotype as type 4. These results revealed that the HGV genome can be classified into at least four major genotypes.  (+info)

(7/734) Molecular and biophysical characterization of TT virus: evidence for a new virus family infecting humans.

The recent isolation of a novel DNA virus from the serum of a Japanese patient (T.T.) has provided the latest possible candidate virus associated with cryptogenic hepatitis. In the present study, we report the complete nucleotide sequence of this virus (TTV) isolated from the serum of a West African. Based on PCR studies designed to amplify overlapping regions of the viral genome and sensitivity to digestion with mung bean nuclease, the viral genome is circular and negative stranded, and comprises 3,852 nt, which is 113 nt longer than the prototype isolate from Japan. Cesium chloride density gradient centrifugation demonstrated banding of the virus at 1.31-1.34 g/ml; filtration studies indicated that TTV had a particle size of 30-50 nm. These results suggest that the virus is similar to the Circoviridae, viruses known to infect plants and vertebrates (e. g., birds and swine); however, sequence similarity searches of available databases did not reveal identity between TTV and other viruses. Phylogenetic analyses of a 260-nt region from 151 globally distributed isolates demonstrated the existence of three major TTV genotypes. Several individuals at high risk for infection with parenterally transmitted viruses were infected with more than one genotype. There was no correlation between genotype and geographic origin. Finally, intravenous inoculation of TTV-positive human serum into chimpanzees demonstrated that TTV can be transmitted to primates; no biochemical or histological evidence for hepatitis was obtained. The distinct biophysical and molecular characteristics of TTV suggest that it is a member of a new family of viruses, which we have tentatively named the Circinoviridae.  (+info)

(8/734) Seroprevalence of hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus and GB virus-C infections in Siberia.

We studied the seroprevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and GB virus-C (GBV-C) infections in 348 Siberian natives who lived in the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia. Of 348 samples studied, the seroprevalence of HBsAg and anti-HBs were 11.8% (41 of 348 samples) and 35.9% (125 of 348 samples), respectively. The prevalence of HCV infection was 1.4% (5 of 348 samples), and that of GBV-C RNA, using RT-PCR methods, was 7.5% (26 of 348 samples). In Siberia, the prevalences of HBV and GBV-C infections were about tenfold higher than those in Japan. The prevalence of HBsAg in subjects under 50 years of age was significantly higher than that in those over 50 years old (P < 0.05). Because HBV infection is highly endemic in Siberia, we propose that the community-based mass immunization must be conducted as soon as possible in this area.  (+info)