Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 28859680
Link to DOI – 10.1186/s12985-017-0837-y
Virol J 2017 08; 14(1): 167
Human pegivirus-1 (HPgV-1) is a member of the Flaviviridae family whose genomic organization and mode of cellular entry is similar to that of hepatitis C virus (HCV). The E2 glycoprotein of HPgV-1 is the principle mediator in the virus-cell interaction and as such harbors most of HPgV-1’s antigenic determinants. HPgV-1 persists in blood cell precursors which are increasingly used for cell therapy.We studied HPgV-1 prevalence in a large cohort of females donating fetal tissues for clinical use. PCR was used for screening and estimation of viral load in viremic plasma and fetal samples. Sequence analysis was performed for portions of the 5′-untranslated and E2 regions of HPgV-1 purified from donor plasmas. Sequencing was followed by phylogenetic analysis.HPgV-1 was revealed in 13.7% of plasmas, 5.0% of fetal tissues, 5.4% of chorions, exceeding the prevalence of HCV in these types of samples. Transmission of HPgV-1 occurred in 25.8% of traceable mother-chorion-fetal tissues triads. For HPgV-1-positive donors, a high viral load in plasma appears to be a prerequisite for transmission. However, about one third of fetal samples acquired infection from non-viremic individuals. Sequencing of 5′-untranslated region placed most HPgV-1 samples to genotype 2a. At the same time, a portion of E2 sequence provided a much weaker support for this grouping apparently due to a higher variability. Polymorphisms were detected in important structural and antigenic motifs of E2.HPgV-1 is efficiently transmitted to fetus at early embryonic stages. A high variability in E2 may pose a risk of generation of pathogenic subtypes. Although HPgV-1 is considered benign and no longer tested mandatorily in blood banks, the virus may have adversary effects at target niches if delivered with infected graft upon cell transplantation. This argues for the necessity of HPgV-1 testing of cell samples aimed for clinical use.