Hepatitis G (GBV-C)
At a Glance
Hepatitis G virus, more properly known as GB virus type C (GBV-C), is a flavivirus; the same class of viruses as hepatitis C and yellow fever virus. It appears highly endemic in human populations but has not been definitively associated with human disease. Several lines of evidence suggest that infection with GBV-C causes little or no disease:
Most patients with GBV-C viremia have normal liver function tests (LFT).
Patients coinfected with either HIV or hepatitis C virus (HCV) and GBV-C do no worse than those without GBV-C.
Less virus is found in liver than in blood in infected patients, suggesting the virus may not be hepatotrophic.
Liver transplant recipients positive for GBV-C do equally as well as uninfected patients.
Patients in case reports with significant liver disease and detected GBV-C were frequently transfused recently; GBV-C is common in the blood donor population and may be passively transferred.
No association between GBV-C infected blood units and post-transfusion hepatitis has been described.
What Tests Should I Request to Confirm My Clinical Dx? In addition, what follow-up tests might be useful?
A GBV-C RNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is available for detection of viremia. It is unclear when it might be indicated, as GBV-C is not strongly implicated in human disease.
Copyright © 2017, 2013 Decision Support in Medicine, LLC. All rights reserved.
No sponsor or advertiser has participated in, approved or paid for the content provided by Decision Support in Medicine LLC. The Licensed Content is the property of and copyrighted by DSM.