Is Liver Disease Being Spread Through Blood Supplies?

Hepatitis G virus in blood supplies could be contributing to liver disease

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) There may be something lurking in the American blood supply that's causing serious health problems. And a researcher suggests that screening for a particular virus needs to be instituted immediately.

In 1997, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) declared the hepatitis G virus (HGV), identified in 1995, as a non-harmful virus. Therefore the blood supply is not screened for this virus.

Yet researchers, who have combed the literature, suggest that blood transfusions containing HGV may in fact be contributing to the increasing prevalence of liver disease, including liver cancer.

"Try to use your own blood in the event you need transfusions."

Mughis Uddin Ahmed of the King Abdulaziz Hospital (NGHA) in Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia reviewed scientific literature over the past 16 years that indicates the virus is prevalent around the world.

Infection with this virus, he found, is associated with hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver and possibly hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer).

Mughis Uddin Ahmed's review also found a link between the virus and blood disorders and blood cancers.

He fears that HGV may be similar to the virus that was transmitting hepatitis C before blood screenings were adopted.

As a result of these findings, Mughis Uddin Ahmed suggests that donated blood be screened for HGV. He adds that research should be conducted to see if this virus is a human pathogen and a viral carcinogen.

This study was published in the International Journal of Immunological Studies.

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Review Date: 
August 24, 2011
Last Updated:
August 26, 2011