Hepatitis G Virus Fact Sheet

(adapted from materials developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

On this page:
Report to Minnesota Department of Health
Etiology
Signs and Symptoms
Long-term Effects
Transmission
Communicability
Risk Groups
Prevention
Testing
Treatment and Medical Management
Postexposure Management
Trends and Statistics
References

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Report to Minnesota Department of Health

  • Hepatitis G virus (HGV) is a rare cause of hepatic inflammation. Although chronic infection and viremia have been documented, histologic evidence is rare, and serum aminotransferase levels are usually normal. At this time, reporting of HGV to the Minnesota Department of Health would be treated as anecdotal.

Etiology

  • HGV is a single-stranded RNA virus classified in the Flaviviridae family; the virus shares 27% homology with hepatitis C virus (HCV).
  • The name HGV denotes two independent viruses: HGV and GBV-C. The HGV has not yet been isolated.
  • The liver is not a significant site of replication.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Most infected persons are asymptomatic.
  • Incubation period is unknown.

Long-Term Effects

  • HGV can cause chronic infection and viremia; however, there is no conclusive evidence to indicate that HGV causes fulminant or chronic liver disease.
  • Co-infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) or HCV does not seem to worsen the course or severity of disease.

Transmission

  • Blood and sexual contact
  • Transplacental, rarely

Communicability

  • Unknown

Risk Groups

  • Transfusion and organ transplant recipients
  • Injection drug users
  • Hemodialysis patients
  • Men who have sex with men

Prevention

  • No specific measures have been identified.

Testing

  • Currently, no serologic test is available.
  • PCR tests for HGV are not widely available.

Treatment & Medical Management

  • None indicated.

Postexposure Management

  • Not known.

Trends & Statistics

  • HGV has been reported in adults and children throughout the world and is found in about 1.5% of blood donors in the United States.
  • Infection has been reported in 10% to 20% of adults with chronic HBV or HCV infection, indicating that co-infection is a common occurrence.

References

  • Pickering L, eds. “Red Book 2000 Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases, 25th ed.” 2000, American Academy of Pediatrics.