GB virus C (GBV-C/HGV) and E2 antibodies in children preliver and postliver transplant

Orit Elkayam, Howayda M. Hassoba, Linda D. Ferrell, Richard Garcia-Kennedy, Robert G. Gish, Teresa L. Wright, Tom Laffler, Dena Traylor, Geffrey Hunt, Philip Rosenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The association of GB virus type C (GBV-C) virus and clinical disease is uncertain. The role of GBV-C and (Envelope) E2 antibody in children with liver transplants has not been determined. This study's aim is to examine the prevalence of GBV-C in children with liver transplants, to assess the relationship of GBV-C to posttransplant hepatitis, and to determine the role of E2 antibodies. Sera from 34 children, preliver and postliver transplant, between 1989-1996 were tested for GBV-C (Ribonucleic acid) RNA by the automated Abbott LCx PCR assay. Anti-E2 antibodies were detected by an Abbott immunoassay. Recent posttransplant liver biopsies were examined for hepatitis. The results of the study determined that pretransplant, four children (12%) were GBV-C RNA positive. Posttransplant, 14 (42%) children were GBV-C RNA positive. The GBV-C RNA positive conversion rate was 33% (Cl 17.2-55.7%). Patients received blood products from a mean of 68 ± 34 donors, which correlated with GBV-C acquisition. There was no difference in the incidence (32% versus 36%; p = 0.726) or severity (grade 2.00 versus 0.68; p = 0.126) of posttransplant hepatitis in the liver biopsies of GBV-C RNA negative and/or positive children, respectively. Pretransplant, nine of 32 children were anti-E2 positive. Posttransplant, eight of 32 children were anti-E2 positive, including five children who were anti-E2 positive pretransplant. Of nine children who were anti-E2 positive and GBV-C RNA negative pretransplant, three became GBV-C RNA positive posttransplant. The results of this study conclude that the prevalence of GBV-C infection in children postliver transplantation is high and that blood product transfusions correlate with GBV-C acquisition. Also, no correlation was found between GBV-C RNA and the incidence or severity of posttransplant hepatitis. Finally, E2 antibody presence before transplantation failed to provide complete protection from GBV-C acquisition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)795-798
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1999
Externally publishedYes


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