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Hepatitis G virus infection in Egyptian children with chronic renal failure (single centre study)

Author(s): Hammad Ayman | Zaghloul Mohammad

Journal: Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials
ISSN 1476-0711

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 36;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Abstract Background Hepatitis G virus (HGV) is an RNA virus. It is mainly transmitted through exposure to contaminated blood although other routes may also exist. Patients with chronic renal failure (CRF) are at high risk of acquiring HGV because they require frequent blood transfusions. Ongoing HGV infection can be only diagnosed by demonstrating viremia in patient sample by reverse transcriptase (RT) PCR. Antibodies to the envelop protein E2 (anti E2) of HGV is an indicator of virus clearance and testify past HGV contact. This cross sectional study was done to assess the frequency of HGV exposure (ongoing and past infection) in Egyptian children with CRF and to study the possible risk factors of infection. Methods This study included 100 children with CRF [34 on regular haemodialysis (HD) and 66 before the start of dialysis (predialysis)]. All patients sera were tested for HGV RNA by RT-PCR, anti E2, hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody, hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), and hepatitis B core antibody (HBcAB). Twenty five healthy children of matched age & sex were used as controls. Results HGV RNA was positive in 9 (26.5%) of HD and 9 (13.6%) of predialysis children. Anti E2 was positive in 14 (41.2%) of HD and 19 (28.8%) of predialysis children. In comparison to controls; CRF (n = 100); HD and predialysis children had significantly higher prevalence of anti E2 [4% VS 33% for all CRF cases; (p = 0.002)& 41.2% (p = 0.002) and 28.8% (p = 0.01); for HD and predialysis groups; respectively]. HGV RNA was significantly more prevalent only in HD children in comparison to controls (p = 0.03). HD and predialysis children did not have significant difference in the prevalence of HGV RNA (p = 0.16) or anti E2 (p = 0.26). HGV exposure was not correlated with positivity of anti HCV (p = 0.32), HCV RNA (0.09), HBsAg/HBcAB (p = 1), age (p = 0.06), or gender (p = 0.83). It was significantly correlated with duration of the disease (p < 0.001). Ongoing HGV infection was significantly more prevalent with frequent blood transfusion (p < 0.001). There were no significant differences in serum levels of ALT (p = 0.09), total bilirubin (p = 0.1) and albumin (p = 0.06) in children with ongoing infection in comparison to healthy controls. Conclusions The frequency of HGV exposure in Egyptian children with CRF appears to be high and is mainly related to frequent blood transfusions and longer disease duration. HGV infection in these children is not associated with significant changes in hepatic biochemical parameters.
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