GB virus C infection among young, HIV-negative injection drug users with and without hepatitis C virus infection

Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.
Journal of Viral Hepatitis (Impact Factor: 3.91). 04/2011; 18(4):e153-9. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2893.2010.01350.x
Source: PubMed


Our study examined the association between GB virus C (GBV-C) and (i) hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection status, (ii) biomedical indicators of liver disease (alanine and aspartate aminotransferases) and (iii) HCV RNA level among young injection drug users (IDUs) recruited using street outreach and respondent-driven methods. Cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses were completed. GBV-C (active or resolved) infection was significantly (P < 0.05) more prevalent among HCV antibody-positive (anti-HCV+) (65.1%) than antibody-negative (anti-HCV-) (32.3%) (OR = 3.9, 95% CI: 2.3-6.9) IDUs. The prevalence of resolved GBV-C infection was highest among those with chronic HCV infection (41.9%), followed by those with resolved HCV infection (34.4%) and significantly lower (P < 0.05) among anti-HCV participants (16.9%). Although not statistically significant (P = 0.13), a similar pattern was observed for active GBV-C infection. No association between GBV-C infection status and biomedical indicators of liver disease or HCV RNA level over time was observed. In conclusion, GBV-C infection prevalence was higher among anti-HCV+ compared to anti-HCV- young IDUs, similar to prior studies among older populations. In particular, chronically HCV-infected young IDUs had an increased rate of GBV-C clearance.

8 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The GB virus C is a common non-pathogenic virus, member of the Flaviviridae family with worldwide distribution. Favorable clinical course and reduced mortality among HIV-infected patients was demonstrated by several studies with patients co-infected with the GB virus C (GBV-C). This potential benefit of GBV-C has been demonstrated in the pre-HAART and post-HAART eras; however, this effect was not observed in all studies and the discrepancy may be due to changes during the course of HIV infection, characteristic of the cohort, and the degree of therapeutic response. The GBV-C has been found to decrease HIV replication in in vitro models, highlighting the interference of persistent GBV-C viremia. The mechanism of the beneficial effect of GBV-C appears to be mediated by changes in the cellular immune response, and elucidation of putative protective effects of GBV-C in HIV co-infection could potentially identify novel targets for anti-HIV agents.
    Current HIV/AIDS Reports 03/2012; 9(1):26-33. DOI:10.1007/s11904-011-0109-1 · 3.80 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: GB virus C (GBV-C) infection is transmitted by blood exposure and associated with lower human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) load and slower HIV disease progression. Few studies describe predictors of acute GBV-C infection following transfusion in HIV-infected patients. We used a limited-access database from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute's Viral Activation Transfusion Study, a randomized controlled trial of leukoreduced versus nonleukoreduced transfusions received by HIV-infected, transfusion-naive patients. Blood samples from 489 subjects were tested for GBV-C markers in pretransfusion and posttransfusion samples. We estimated the risk of acquiring GBV-C RNA and predictors of GBV-C acquisition, using pooled logistic regression. GBV-C RNA was detected ≤120 days following the first transfusion in 22 (7.5%) of 294 subjects who were GBV-C negative before transfusion. The risk of GBV-C RNA acquisition increased with each unit transfused (odds ratio, 1.09; 95% confidence interval, 1.06-1.11). Lower baseline HIV load and use of antiretroviral therapy were associated with subsequent GBV-C RNA acquisition, after control for units of blood transfused. Leukoreduced status of transfused units was not associated with GBV-C transmission. Blood transfusion is associated with a significant risk of GBV-C acquisition among HIV-infected patients. Transmission of GBV-C by blood transfusion was inversely related to HIV load.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 03/2012; 205(9):1436-42. DOI:10.1093/infdis/jis209 · 6.00 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: GB virus C (GBV-C) is a member of the Flaviviridae family and the most closely related human virus to HCV. However, GBV-C does not replicate in hepatocytes, but rather in lymphocytes. GBV-C has a worldwide distribution and is transmitted sexually, parenterally and through mother-to-child transmission. Thus, co-infection with HCV and HIV is common. Until now, no human disease has been associated with GBV-C infection. However, there are several reports of a beneficial effect of GBV-C on HIV disease progression in vivo. Different mechanisms to explain these observations have been proposed, including modification of antiviral cytokine production, HIV co-receptor expression, direct inhibition of HIV-1 entry, T-cell activation and Fas-mediated apoptosis. Further understanding of these mechanisms may open new strategies for the treatment of HIV/AIDS.
    Expert Review of Anti-infective Therapy 05/2012; 10(5):563-72. DOI:10.1586/eri.12.37 · 3.46 Impact Factor
Show more