American Journal of Microbiological Research
ISSN (Print): 2328-4129 ISSN (Online): 2328-4137 Website: Editor-in-chief: Apply for this position
Open Access
Journal Browser
American Journal of Microbiological Research. 2016, 4(6), 172-177
DOI: 10.12691/ajmr-4-6-3
Open AccessArticle

Prevalence and Impact of GBV-C among HIV-1 Infected Patients under HAART in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Mohamed Farouk1, , Abraham Tesfaye2 and Mekuria Lakew1

1Department of Microbial Cellular & Molecular Biology, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

2Addis Ababa City Administration Health Research Bureaus, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Pub. Date: December 23, 2016

Cite this paper:
Mohamed Farouk, Abraham Tesfaye and Mekuria Lakew. Prevalence and Impact of GBV-C among HIV-1 Infected Patients under HAART in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. American Journal of Microbiological Research. 2016; 4(6):172-177. doi: 10.12691/ajmr-4-6-3


Hepatitis G virus or GB virus C (GBV-C) is a virus in the Flaviviridae family that does not cause any disease, but from various epidemiological observations was found to improve the clinical outcomes of HIV infection and treatment. It has the same mode of transmission with HIV. In Ethiopia, there has not been any study made on the prevalence or genotyping of GBV-C in circulation. Therefore no information is available. To fill this gap prevalence study was conducted on HIV patients under treatment. Eighty one serum samples were collected from patients on follow up study at the Addis Ababa Regional Laboratories and Research Institutes. RNA was extracted, reversed transcribed, and amplified by Real Time polymerase chain reaction (PCR), using primers for 5- untranslated region (5-UTR) of the GBV-C. Results showed 7 (8.6%) out of the 81 of HIV patients to be coinfected with GBV-C. Comparison of the mean CD4 count of the coinfected subject was found to be significantly different from the GBV-C negative patients at (P < 0.05). Further studies on clinical, immunological and genotypic analysis on larger samples are under investigation.


Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  UNAIDS. (2014). Factsheet 2014: Global Statistics. Geneva. p. 1.
[2]  World Health Organization. (2015). HIV/AIDS Fact sheet N°360. Geneva.
[3]  Hazenberg MD, Hamann D, Schuitemaker H, Miedema F (2000) T cell depletion in HIV-1 infection: how CD4+ T cells go out of stock. Nat Immunol 1: 285-9.
[4]  Sarafianos SG, Marchand B, Das K, Himmel DM, Michael A. Parniak MA, Hughes SH, and Arnold E. 2009. Structure and Function of HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase: Molecular Mechanisms of Polymerization and Inhibition. Journal of Molecular Biology. 385: 693-713.
[5]  Gulick, R.M., Meibohm, A., Havlir, D., Eron, J.J., Mosley, A., Chodakewitz, J.A., Isaacs, R., Gonzalez, C., McMahon, D., Richman, D.D., Robertson, M., Mellors, J.W., 2003. Six-year follow-up of HIV-1-infected adults in a clinical trial of antiretroviral therapy with indinavir, zidovudine, and lamivudine. AIDS 17, 2345-2349.
[6]  World Health Organization. (2014). Global Update on the Health Sector Response to HIV, 2014. Geneva. p. 50.
[7]  World Health Organization (2013). Consolidated Guidelines on The use of Antiretroviral Drugs and Preventing HIV Infection. (
[8]  Geeraert L, Kraus G and Pomerantz RJ (2008). Hide-and-seek: the challenge of viral persistence in HIV-1 infection. Annu Rev Med; 59:487-501.
[9]  Sunil K. Khattar, Sweety Samal, Anthony L DeVico, Peter L Collins and Siba K. Samal, Newcastle Disease Virus Expressing Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 Envelope Glycoprotein Induces Strong Mucosal and Serum Antibody Responses in Guinea Pigs, Journal of Virology, 85(20): 10529-10541. 2011.
[10]  Robert J Natuk, Pranabk C, Michaled L, Alan R, James W, Richard H, Mark W, Bheem B, Satoshi M, Sally L, Ally L, Jorg E, Robert G, Paul H, and Marjorie G, Adenovirus-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) envelope recombinant vaccines elicit high titered HIV-neutralizing antibodies in the dog model, Proc Nad Acad Sci,89 7777-7781.1992.
[11]  Polgreen, P. M., J. Xiang, Q. Chang, and J. T. Stapleton. 2003. GB virus type C/hepatitis G virus: a nonpathogenic flavivirus associated with prolonged survival in HIV-infected individuals. Microbes Infect. 5: 1255-1261.
[12]  Linnen, J., J. Wages, Jr., Z. Y. Zhang-Keck, K. E. Fry, K. Z. Krawczynski, H. Alter, E. Koonin, M. Gallagher, M. Alter, S. Hadziyannis, P. Karayiannis, K. Fung, Y. Nakatsuji, J. W. Shih, L. Young, M. Piatak, Jr., C. Hoover, J. Fernandez, S. Chen, J. C. Zou, T. Morris, K. C. Hyams, S. Ismay, J. D. Lifson, G. Hess, S. K. Foung, H. Thomas, D. Bradley, H. Margolis, and J. P. Kim. 1996. Molecular cloning and disease association of hepatitis G virus: a transfusion-transmissible agent. Science 271:505-508.
[13]  Leary, T. P., A. S. Muerhoff, J. N. Simons, T. J. Pilot-Matias, J. C. Erker, M. L. Chalmers, G. G. Schlauder, G. J. Dawson, S. M. Desai, and I. K. Mushahwar. 1996b. Sequence and genomic organization of GBV-C: a novel member of the flaviviridae associated with human non-A-E hepatitis. J Med Virol 48:60-67.
[14]  Simons, IN., Leary, T.P., Dawson, G.I, Pilot-Matias, T.J., Muerhoff AS., Schlauder, G.G., Desai, S.M. and Mushahwar, IK (1995). Isolation of novel virus-like sequences associated with human hepatitis. Nature Medicine 1, 564-569.
[15]  Toyoda H, Fukuda Y, Hayakawa T, Takamatsu J, and Saito H (1998). Effect of GB virus C/hepatitis G virus co-infection on the course of HIV infection in hemophilia patients in Japan. Journal Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.17:209-13.
[16]  Tillmann HL, Heiken H, Knapik-Botor A, Heringlake S, Ockenga J, Wilber JC, Goergen B, Detmer J, McMorrow M, Stoll M, Schmidt RE, and Manns MP (2001). Infection with GB virus C and reduced mortality among HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med, 345:715-24.
[17]  Xiang J, Wunschmann S, Diekema DJ, Klinzman D, Patrick KD, George SL, and Stapleton JT (2001). Effect of co-infection with GB virus C (hepatitis G virus) on survival among patients with HIV infection. New England Journal of Medicine. 345:707-14.
[18]  Heringlake S, Ockenga J, Tillmann HL, Trautwein C, Meissner D, Stoll M, Hunt J, Jou C, Solomon N, Schmidt RE, and Manns MP (1998). GB virus C/hepatitis G virus infection: a favorable prognostic factor in human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients? Journal of Infectious Diseases.177: 1723-6.
[19]  Souza IE, Zhang W, Diaz RS, Chaloner K, Klinzman D, Stapleton JT (2006). Effect of GB virus C on response to antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected Brazilians. HIV Med; 7: 25-31.
[20]  Gilles, N., Christian, R. and Pascal, V. (1999). Clearance of hepatitis G viremia in a Human immunodeficiency virus -positive patient by high-activity antiretroviral therapy. Clin Infect Dis. 29: 1332-1333.
[21]  Rodriguez B, Woolley I, Lederman MM, Zdunek D, Hess G, Valdez H (2003). Effect of GB virus C coinfection on response to antiretroviral treatment in human immunodeficiency virusinfected patients. J Infect Dis. 187:504-507.
[22]  Lefrère JJ, Ferec C, Roudot-Thoraval F, Loiseau P, Cantaloube JF, Biagini P, Mariotti M, LeGac G, and Mercier B, GBV-C/ hepatitis G virus (HGV) RNA load in immunodeficient individuals and in immunocompetent individuals. J Med Virol, 59: 32-37. 1999.
[23]  Yeo AE, Matsumoto A, Hisada M, Shih JW, Alter HJ and Goedert JJ. Effect of hepatitis G virus infection on progression of HIV infection in patients with hemophilia. Multicenter Hemophilia Cohort Study. Ann Intern Med, 132: 959-963. 2000.
[24]  Williams CF, Klinzman D, Yamashita TE, Xiang, Polgreen P M, Rinaldo C,Liu C, Phair J, Margolic JB, Zdunek D, Hees G and Stapleton JT, Persistent GB virus C infection and survival in HIV-infected men. N Engl J Med, 350: 981-990. 2004.
[25]  Maidana-Giret MT, Silva TM, Sauer MM, Tomiyama H, Levi JE, Bassichetto KC, Nishiya A, Diaz RS, Sabino EC, Palacios R, and Kallas EG. GB virus type C infection modulates T-cell activation independently of HIV-1 viral load. AIDS 23: 2277-2287. 2009.
[26]  Stapleton JT, Chaloner K, J. Zhang, D. Klinzman, I. E. Souza, J. Xiang, A. Landay, J. Fahey, R. Pollard, and R. Mitsuyasu. GBV-C viremia is associated with reduced CD4 expansion in HIV-infected people receiving HAART and interleukin-2 therapy. AIDS 23:605-610. 2009.
[27]  Bjorkman P, Flamholc L, Molnegren V, Marshall A, Guner N, and Widell A (2007). Enhanced and resumed GB virus C replication in HIV-1-infected individuals receiving HAART. AIDS. 21(12): 1641-1643.
[28]  Ruiz V, Giordano M, Rivero CW, Minassian ML, Cuestas ML, Trinks J, Mathet VL, and Oubina JR (2010). GB virus C quasispecies detected in plasma and lymphocyte subsets in a natural human infection. J Gen Virol, 91(Pt 7): 1687-1692.
[29]  Schwarze-Zander C, Blackard JT, Zheng H, and Juergen K Rockstroh, Role of GB virus C in modulating HIV disease, Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther, 10(5): 563-572. 2012.
[30]  Muerhoff AS, Dawson GJ, Desai SM (2006). A previously unrecognized sixth genotype of GB virus C revealed by analysis of 5’-untranslated region sequences. J Med Virol 78: 105-111.
[31]  Schwarze-Zander C, Blackard JT, Zheng H, Addo MM, Lin W, Robbins GK, Sherman KE, Zdunek D, Hess G, Chung RT; and AIDS Clinical Trial Group A5071 Study Team, GB virus C (GBV-C) infection in hepatitis C virus (HCV)/HIV-coinfected patients receiving HCV treatment: importance of the GBV-C genotype. J Infect Dis, 194:410-9. 2006.
[32]  Shimizu YK, Hijikata M, Kiyohara T, Yoshihiro Kitamura, and Hiroshi Yoshikura. (1999). Replication of GB virus C (hepatitis G virus) in interferon-resistant Daudi cells, J Virol. 73:8411-4.
[33]  George SL, Xiang J and Stapleton JT, Clinical isolates of GB virus type C vary in their ability to persist and replicate in peripheral blood mononuclear cell cultures, Virology, 316:191-201. 2003
[34]  Feng Y, Zhao W, Dai J, Li Z, Zhang X, Liu L, Bai J, Zhang H, Lu L, and Xia X. (2011). A novel genotype of GB virus C: its identification and predominance among injecting drug users in Yunnan, China. PLoS One 6: e21151.
[35]  Naito H, Win KM, Abe K (1999). Identification of a novel genotype of hepatitis G virus in Southeast Asia. J Clin Microbiol 37: 1217-1220.
[36]  Sathar MA, York DF (2001) Group 5: GBV-C/HGV isolates from South Africa. J Med Virol 65: 121-122.
[37]  Sathar MA, Soni PN, Pegoraro R, Simmonds P, Smith DB, Dhillon AP and Dusheiko GM. (1999). A new variant of GB virus C/hepatitis G virus (GBV-C/HGV) from South Africa. Virus Res 64: 151-160.
[38]  Smith DB, Basaras M, Frost S, Haydon D, Cuceanu N, Prescott L, Kamenka C, Millband D, and Sathar MA, Simmonds P.. (2000). Phylogenetic analysis of GBV-C/hepatitis G virus. J Gen Virol 81: 769-780.
[39]  Tucker TJ, Smuts HE (2000) GBV-C/HGV genotypes: proposed nomenclature for genotypes 1-5. J Med Virol 62: 82-83.
[40]  Tucker TJ, Smuts H, Eickhaus P, Robson SC, Kirsch RE (1999). Molecular characterization of the 5’ non-coding region of South African GBV-C/HGV isolates: major deletion and evidence for a fourth genotype. J Med Virol 59: 52-59.
[41]  Gemechu Kejela, Lemessa Oljira, Yadeta Dessie, and Direslgne Misker, Comprehensive HIV/AIDS knowledge level among out-of-school youths in Wayu Tuka district, Western Ethiopia, European Journal of Preventive Medicine; 3(1): 11-16. 2015.
[42]  Laskus T, Radkowski M, Wang LF, Vargas H and Rakela J. (1997). Lack of hepatitis G virus replication in the livers of patients coinfected with hepatitis C and G viruses. J. Virol. 71, 7804-7806.
[43]  Alter HJ, Nakatsuji, Y, Melpolder, J, Wages, J, Wesley, R, Shih, and Kim JP. (1997b). The incidence of transfusion-associated hepatitis G virus infection and its relation to liver disease. N EngI. J. Med. 336, 747-754.
[44]  Alter H.J. The cloning and clinical implications of HGV and HGBVC. N Engl J Med 1996; 334: 1536-7.
[45]  Rey D, Fraize S, Vidinic J, et al. High prevalence of GB virus C/hepatitis G virus RNA in patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus. J Med Virol 1999; 57: 75-9.
[46]  Wachtler M, Hofmann A, Muller G, et al. Prevalence of GB virus C/ hepatitis G virus RNA and anti-E2 glycoprotein antibodies in homosexual men with HIV coinfection. Infection 2000; 28: 297-300.
[47]  Rendina D, Vigorita E, Bonavolta R, et al. HCV and GBV-c/HGV infection in HIV positive patients in southern Italy. Eur J Epidemiol 2001; 17: 801-7.
[48]  Kozal MJ, Friedland G, Chiarella J, Kyriakides T, Concato J, Klinzman D & Stapleton JT. Prevalence of HIV and GBV-C coinfection and the likelihood of genotypic resistance development. 9th Conference on Retroviruses & Opportunistic Infections. 24-28 February 2002, Seattle, WA, USA.
[49]  Ruiz V, Espinola L, Mathet VL, Perandones CE and Oubina JR, Design, development and evaluation of a competitive RT-PCR for quantitation of GBV-C RNA, J Virol Methods, 2006;136:58-64.
[50]  Thomas DL, Vlahov D, Alter HI, Hunt, Marshall R, Astemborski I and Nelson KE. (1998). Association of antibody to GB Virus C (Hepatitis G Virus) with viral clearance and protection from reinfection. J. Infect. Dis. 177, 539-542.
[51]  Scallan MF, Clutterbuck D, Jarvis LM, Scott G, Simmonds P (1998). Sexual transmission of GB virus C/hepatitis G virus. J Med Virol, 55: 203-208.