Korean J Gastroenterol.  1999 Apr;33(4):504-510.

Prevalenceof Hepatitis G Virus Infection in Leprous Patients

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is known to be prevalent in leprous patients Hepatitis G virus (HGV) is transmitted parenterally as HCV. This study was performed to assess the prevalence of HGV infection in leprous patients and non-leprous family members of leprous patients
METHODS
This study included 96 leprous patients and 47 non-leprous family members of leprous patients. HCV-antibody was tested by the 3rd generation enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Anti-HCV positive sera were confirmed by the 2nd generation recombinant immunoblot assay (RIBA) and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) from 5 ?-UTR. HGV-RNA was detected by RT-PCR from E1 region.
RESULTS
The prevalence of HCV infection in the leprous patients (55.2%) and the non-leprous family members (8.5%) was higher than that of genera population of Korea. The prevalence of HGV infection in the leprous patients and their non-leprous family members was 10.4% and 6.4% (95% confidence interval, 5.1-18.3%), respectively. These values were higher than that of general population (1.4%). The higher prevalence of the HGV infection in the leprous patients was not related with leprosy nor HCV infection.
CONCLUSIONS
Leprous patients are exposed to high risk of HGV infection as well as HCV infection.

Keyword

HGV; HCV; Leprosy
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