Document Type : Original articles


1 Department of Microbiology, College of Medicine, University of Anbar, Anbar, Iraq.

2 Department of Internal Medicine/Gastroenterology, College of Medicine, University of Anbar, Anbar, Iraq.


Background: Hepatitis G virus (HGV) infection is widespread worldwide in high-risk groups such as healthcare workers, voluntary blood donors, and chronic liver disease patients. Also, haemophilia and thalassemia are diseases within the  high-risk groups for HGV infection. Although it has no clinical significance or impact on liver disease and its future course is uncertain, highly mutated (as in other RNA viruses) might happen, resulting in a severe liver injury.
Objective: To evaluate the subclinical impact of hepatitis G virus infection on liver health in high-risk populations through liver function tests (LFTs) analysis.
Materials and Methods: Blood samples were taken from 221 people in high-risk groups and chronic liver patients infected with hepatitis B and C viruses. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to find HGV anti-E2 antibodies, and a multiplex nested real-time polymerase chain reaction method was used to find HGV RNA. LFTs were performed for all participants, which included checking the levels of AST, ALT, total bilirubin, AP, and serum albumin. A self-controlled case study was used to look at differences in liver function tests between people with a high risk and people who have chronic hepatitis B and C with or without HGV infection. .
Results:  HGV infection was more prevalent in high-risk groups like patients with chronic liver disease (15.8%), healthcare professionals (6.8%), haemophiliacs (6.8%), and thalassemia patients (9.5%) compared to volunteer blood donors (3.2%) and recipients of blood (3.6%). There was no statistically significant difference (P-value > 0.05) in the abnormal rates of ALT, AST, serum albumin, ALP, and total bilirubin between high-risk groups and chronic liver patients regardless of whether they had HGV infection or not.
Conclusions: Surveillance for HGV infection does not appear to cause significant liver dysfunction in high-risk and chronic liver patients.


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