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BACKGROUND: Hepatitis G virus (HGV) or GBV-C is frequently detected in patients co-infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). This study investigated host and virologic factors influencing the response to HGV/GBV-C to alpha-interferon treatment. METHODS: HGV/GBV-C was detected and quantified by nested polymerase chain reaction. The influence of variables such as liver biopsy appearance, liver function abnormalities, and response of HCV to interferon treatment was monitored. RESULTS: Fourteen of the 25 HGV/GBV-C-infected patients treated with interferon (3-6 MIU three times a week for 6 months) became non-viraemic during treatment, although all relapsed after treatment withdrawal at 6 months, with no net change in virus load between 0 and 12 months. CONCLUSIONS: Predictive factors for clearance of HGV/GBV-C viraemia by interferon were pre-treatment severity of liver disease (median Knodell score of 4, compared with 7 for non-responders; P = 0.030) and alanine aminotransferase levels (median, 114, 182 for non-responders; P = 0.039). Clearance was associated with the treatment response of HCV. Nine of 13 who cleared HGV/GBV-C also cleared HCV, compared with 3 of 11 HGV/GBV-C non-responders; P = 0.05). The shared susceptibility of HGV/GBV-C and HCV to interferon treatment suggests a link between the mechanism of clearance of the two viruses.

Original publication

DOI

10.1080/00365529850166941

Type

Journal article

Journal

Scand J Gastroenterol

Publication Date

02/1998

Volume

33

Pages

195 - 200

Keywords

Adult, Aged, Alanine Transaminase, Female, Flaviviridae, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis, Viral, Human, Humans, Interferon-alpha, Male, Middle Aged, Polymerase Chain Reaction, RNA, Viral, Treatment Outcome, Viral Load, Viremia