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Volume 26, Number 2—February 2020

Etymologia: Pegivirus

Ronnie HenryComments to Author 

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Pegivirus [pegʺi-viʹrǝs]

In 1967, researchers studying non-A, non-B hepatitis identified a transmissible agent in the serum of a surgeon (initials G.B.) with acute hepatitis and named it the GB agent. In the 1990s, researchers from Abbott Laboratories identified 3 GB viruses (A, B, and C) at the same time as a group at Genelabs isolated RNA from patients with non-A, non-B hepatitis and named it hepatitis G virus. Later research showed that GB virus C and hepatitis G virus were the same species.

Subsequent phylogenetic analysis showed that GB viruses A and C (and GB virus D, later identified in bats) should be classified under a new genus, Pegivirus (because they cause persistent infection and because of the historic association with hepatitis G), and GB virus B should be classified as a second species (with hepatitis C virus) in the genus Hepacivirus. As of 2016, 11 species of Pegivirus had been identified (Pegivirus A–K).



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  4. Stapleton  JT, Foung  S, Muerhoff  AS, Bukh  J, Simmonds  P. The GB viruses: a review and proposed classification of GBV-A, GBV-C (HGV), and GBV-D in genus Pegivirus within the family Flaviviridae. J Gen Virol. 2011;92:23346. DOIPubMedGoogle Scholar


Cite This Article

DOI: 10.3201/eid2602.et2602

Original Publication Date: January 07, 2020

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Ronnie Henry, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, Mailstop E28, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA

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Page created: January 17, 2020
Page updated: January 17, 2020
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