G Hess

Universitair Ziekenhuis Leuven, Louvain, Flanders, Belgium

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Publications (4)16.81 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In a previous study, we have determined the prevalence of serum HGV-RNA in patients with congenital clotting disorders. Twenty-six (15%) of 175 patients investigated were serum HGV-RNA positive. In addition, HGV-RNA was detectable in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) in ten percent of the cases, three of these patients were serum HGV-RNA negative. In the present study, we have determined the prevalence of anti-HGV-E2 antibodies in the same patient population. Anti-HGV-E2 as determined by ELISA was detected in 45 patients (25.7%). Forty of these patients were serum HGV-RNA negative. Ninety-two percent of the 26 HGV viremic patients and all but one patient (44 patients) with detectable anti-HGV-E2 had coinfection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Of these coinfected patients, 62.5% of HGV viremic patients and 53% of anti-HGV-E2 positive patients showed elevated serum ALT levels. Anti-HGV-E2 seroconversion is thus not associated with HCV infection. Two patients who were solely infected with HGV had normal serum ALT levels. In a retrospective longitudinal study, we have observed in 15 patients that serum HGV-RNA persisted during one to 19 years of follow-up, while anti-HGV-E2 was repeatedly negative. Five additional patients who were anti-HGV-E2 positive with concomitant detectable HGV-RNA (4 patients in serum and 1 patient in PBMC) became HGV-RNA negative during follow-up, ranging from 1 to 8 years after the first detection of anti-HGV-E2 antibodies. Two patients had lost anti-HGV-E2 antibodies 3 to 6 years after the seroconversion without the re-appearance of serum HGV-RNA. From these findings, it is clear that the prevalence rate of HGV infection in patients with clotting disorders as determined by PCR assay for HGV-RNA and anti-HGV-E2 by ELISA is actually higher than the prevalence of HGV viremia. Although HGV viremia may persist for longer than 19 years, most of the patients infected with HGV may clear the viremia spontaneously. The clearance of viremia is usually associated with seroconversion to anti-HGV-E2. In addition, anti-HGV-E2 may be lost during years of follow-up without the reappearance of the HGV-RNA. Although HGV infection does not seem to influence the fate of HCV infection and does not induce increased levels of serum ALT, the clinical significance of long-term infection remains to be established.
    Thrombosis and Haemostasis 05/1998; 79(4):752-5. · 5.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A recently discovered non-A-E hepatitis virus has been designated as hepatitis G virus (HGV) and identified as a new member of the Flaviviridae family. Infection by this virus is thought to be associated with blood-borne hepatitis and usually in the presence of hepatitis C or hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. In this study, the presence of HGV-RNA in serum or plasma and the prevalence of antibodies against an HGV envelope protein (E2) were investigated in patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis using a sensitive reverse-transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, respectively. HGV-RNA was detected in 19 of 112 patients investigated (17%) and anti-E2 antibodies were detected in 15 of 106 patients studied (14.2%). With the exception of two patients, the appearance of anti-E2 is associated with the clearance of serum HGV-RNA. The total prevalence of current (HGV-RNA positivity) and/or past (anti-E2 positivity) HGV infection in this patient population is thus 28.6% (32 of 112 patients were positive for serum HGV-RNA and/or anti-E2 antibodies). In apparently healthy blood donors, serum HGV-RNA was detected in four of 358 individuals (1.12%) and anti-E2 was not detected in 50 individuals investigated. From the 19 patients with serum HGV-RNA positivity, nine were coinfected with other hepatitis viruses (seven with HBV; one with HBV, hepatitis C virus [HCV], and hepatitis D virus; and one with HBV and cytomegalovirus). Thirteen of 15 patients with anti-E2 positivity (10 were positive for only anti-E2 and three were also positive for anti-HBc) had no detectable HGV-RNA. In two patients, both HGV-RNA and anti-E2 antibodies were concomitantly present (both patients were coinfected with HCV or HBV). Of the HGV-infected patients, only three who were coinfected with HBV showed elevated serum alanine aminotransferase levels. The serum HCV-RNA and/or anti-HCV were detected in five (4.5%) of 112 patients. From these findings, we conclude that there is a high prevalence of HGV infection (28.6%) compared with HCV (4.5%) in patients undergoing hemodialysis in our hospital. However, approximately 50% of patients had spontaneously lost the viremia and developed anti-HGV-E2 antibodies. We confirm that HGV infection alone is not associated with elevated serum transaminases, and the appearance of anti-HGV-E2 is usually accompanied with clearance of serum HGV-RNA. In contrast to the results of our previous study, the majority of patients infected with HGV are not coinfected with HCV, indicating that HGV is capable of independent transmission. It is likely that there is a preferential HGV acquisition in the hemodialysis unit. The clinical significance of long-term infection with HGV remains to be established.
    American Journal of Kidney Diseases 03/1998; 31(2):218-23. · 5.29 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Hepatology - J HEPATOL. 01/1998; 28:194-194.
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    ABSTRACT: The hepatitis G virus (HGV) has recently been identified as a new member of the Flaviviridae family. Infection by this virus is thought to be associated with blood borne hepatitis. In this study, the presence of HCV- and HGV-RNAs in serum or plasma (175 patients) and in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) (133 patients) was investigated in patients with clotting disorders using a sensitive reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). HGV-RNA was detected in serum of 26 patients (14.8%). In apparently healthy blood donors, serum HGV-RNA was detected in 4 of 358 individuals investigated (1.12%). Ninety two percent of the 26 serum HGV-RNA positive patients had coinfection with the hepatitis C virus (HCV), especially with HCV genotype 1b, the most common genotype in Belgium. Of these coinfected patients, 15 (62.5%) showed elevated serum ALT levels. Two patients who were solely infected with HGV had normal serum ALT.HGV-RNA in PBMC was found in 18 patients, of whom 3 were negative for serum HGV-RNA. As in case of HCV, HGV-RNA in PBMC is preferentially sensitive to interferon treatment. Nevertheless, rapid reappearance of HGV-RNA in PBMC was observed after cessation of treatment. In one patient, persistent serum ALT elevation seems to be associated with continued HGV viremia, despite the disappearance of serum HCV-RNA.
    Thrombosis and Haemostasis 06/1997; 77(5):868-72. · 5.76 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

36 Citations
16.81 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1997–1998
    • Universitair Ziekenhuis Leuven
      Louvain, Flanders, Belgium