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BACKGROUND: To establish the rate of HGV/GB virus C (GBV-C) transmission by blood components in open-heart surgery patients. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: From 55 patients receiving blood components, sera were collected before and 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, 20, 26, and 32 weeks after heart surgery. Serum samples from patients and implicated blood donations were tested for HGV/GBV-C RNA by PCR. Recipients of RNA-positive blood components were also tested for the presence of E2 antibodies (E2Ab) by ELISA. RESULTS: Of 55 recipients, 18 received RNA-positive blood components. Of 14 recipients of RNA-positive blood components, who were negative for RNA or E2Ab before transfusion, 8 became RNA positive and one developed E2Ab after transfusion. Three recipients of RNA-positive blood components had E2Ab before transfusion, and none of these became RNA positive after transfusion. One of 18 recipients was RNA positive before and after transfusion. Of 55 recipients, 37 received RNA-negative blood components: 34 were RNA negative before and after transfusion. Of 37 recipients, 3 were RNA positive before and after transfusion. CONCLUSION: Of susceptible patients, 64 percent became infected with HGV/GVC-C when transfused with RNA-positive blood components. E2Ab-positive patients were protected against HGV/GBV-C infection.


Journal article



Publication Date





1558 - 1562


12E7 Antigen, Antibodies, Antigens, CD, Blood Component Transfusion, Cardiac Surgical Procedures, Cell Adhesion Molecules, Flaviviridae Infections, GB virus C, Humans, RNA, Viral