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Effect of human pegivirus route of transmission on the genetic distribution of the virus: an institution based cross-sectional study

Taklual, Wubet, Tang, Shixing, Yue, Wu
Virology journal 2019 v.16 no.1 pp. 50
Hepatitis GB virus B, Human immunodeficiency virus 1, RNA, blood transfusion, computer software, cross-sectional studies, drugs, hospitals, intravenous injection, men, mixed infection, phylogeny, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, sequence analysis, subgenotype, viruses, China
INTRODUCTION: Human pegivirus (HPgV), formally called GB virus C (GBV-C), is a member of the pegivirus genus in Flaviviridae family. High prevalence of HPgV infection is seen among sex workers, blood transfusion recipients and intravenous drug users (IDUs). So far, there are seven genotypes and many subtypes identified in different countries. The predominant genotype in Asia including China is genotype 3, although genotype 7 has been reported recently in China. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of the transmission routes of HPgV infection on the genotype distribution of the virus, to determine the prevalence rate, and identify the dominant genotype among men who have sex with men (MSM) and IDUs co-infected with human immunodeficiency virus type one (HIV-1) in Guangzhou, China. METHODS: A total of 131 MSM and 70 IDUs co-infected with HIV-1 were randomly selected in Guangdong Dermatology Hospital. HPgV RNA was detected by nested reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using primers. The PCR products were sequenced and phylogenetically analyzed by using MEGA6.06 version software to determine the genotypes. Chi-square and Fisher exact test were implemented for comparing the proportion between different variables. RESULTS: The prevalence of HPgV infection was 32.9% among IDUs and 18.3% in MSM with a statistically significant difference between the two groups (pā€‰=ā€‰0.02). In IDU group, 82.6% infected with genotype 3 and the rest (17.4%) were categorized to genotype 7. Similarly, in MSM group, 83.3% belonged to genotype 3, and the remaining 16.7% were classified as sub-genotype 2a and 2b. CONCLUSION: In Guangzhou, China, the prevalence rate of HPgV infection in IDUs was higher than MSM. The dominant genotype in the two groups was genotype 3. Our results indicated that routes of transmission did not affect the genotype distribution but did affect the prevalence rate of HPgV infection.