High prevalence of hepatitis G virus infection in multiply transfused children with thalassaemia.
Poovorawan Y., Theamboonlers A., Chongsrisawat V., Seksarn P., Jarvis L., Simmonds P.
We investigated the prevalence of hepatitis G virus (HGV) RNA in relation to the frequency of blood transfusions in thalassaemic children and in volunteer blood donors in Thailand. Furthermore, we studied the frequency of coinfection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and/or hepatitis C virus (HCV) as well as a possible relationship to the alanine aminotransferase (ALT) status of the blood samples, taken at random from thalassaemic children who have received multiple blood transfusions and from volunteer blood donors. The results show detectable HGV-RNA in 32.6% of transfusion patients and in 5% of blood donors. The prevalence of HGV-RNA peaked between the 11th and 50th transfusion. The relationship between HGV infection and ALT status was not statistically relevant.