We aimed to determine the rate of GBV-C viremia, seropositivity, and genotypes among people who inject drugs (PWID) and healthy volunteers in Estonia and to evaluate associations between GBV-C and sociodemographic factors, intravenous drug use, co-infections. The study included 345 Caucasian PWID and 118 healthy volunteers. The presence of GBV-C RNA (viremia) was determined by reverse transcriptase-nested PCR in 5′ long terminal repeat. PCR products were sequenced and genotyped by phylogenetic analysis. GBV-C seropositivity was determined by ELISA. One third of PWID (114/345) and 6% (7/118) of healthy volunteers (OR = 7.8, 95% CI = 3.5–20.5, P < 0.001) were GBV-C viremic. In PWID group, 79% of sequences belonged to subtype 2a, 19% to subtype 2b, and two remained unclassified. In healthy volunteers, six out of seven sequences belonged to subtype 2a and one to subtype 2b. We found HIV+ PWID to have two times increased odds of being GBV-C viremic compared to HIV− PWID (62% vs. 38%; OR = 2.13, 95% CI = 1.34–3.36, P = 0.001). In addition, odds of being GBV-C viremic decreased with increasing age (OR = 0.94, 95% CI = 0.90–0.98, P = 0.001). HIV positivity remained associated with GBV-C viremia in multivariate analysis after adjustment for age (OR = 2.23, 95% CI = 1.39–3.58, P = 0.001). GBV-C seropositivity was similar among PWID and healthy volunteers (2.3% vs. 1.7%, respectively; OR = 1.4, 95% CI =0.3–13.5, P = 1). In an Eastern European country we demonstrated that GBV-C viremia is common among PWID, but uncommon among healthy volunteers, and GBV-C seropositivity is infrequent among both groups. Similarly to other European countries and USA, GBV-C 2a is the most common genotype in Estonia. J. Med. Virol. 89:632–638, 2017.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases