Physiology of GB Virus-C

GB Virus C is a flaviviridae. Viruses in the flavivirus family are all single-stranded RNA viruses. Production of a complementary RNA strand is not necessary for viruses in this family to produce protein. The genome of these viruses are on average 11,000 nucleotides long - they encode around 10 genes. The capsid of viruses in this family are icosahedral shaped and around the viral capsid a spherical shaped envelope is present.

GB Virus C is phylogenetically related to hepatitis C virus, but replicates primarily in lymphocytes, and poorly, if at all, in hepatocytes, like the one shown above. Nevertheless, the above graphic is useful for understanding GB Virus C's "Life Cycle"

Can GB Virus C Abate the HIV Virus???

"Because GBV-C is not associated with a disease, blood products are not screened for this virus and approximately 1 of 70 units of blood products in the United States contains GBV-C RNA"

Studies of the pathogenesis of GBV-C in HIV-infected patients yielded surprising results. Ten separate studies published or presented since 1998 found that GBV-C infection in HIV-positive people was associated with either a decrease in mortality or improved clinical outcomes.

Because both GBV-C and HIV replicate in lymphocytes, it is reasonable to speculate that viral interference between GBV-C and HIV might occur.

Data suggests that GBV-C replication induces cellular factors that might inhibit HIV.


"Flaviviridae." Flaviviridae. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2017. <>.

"Hepatitis C Virus Life Cycle." Hepatitis C Virus Life Cycle | | The AIDS InfoNet. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2017. <>.

N.p., n.d. Web. <>.

"Since 1990, Helping Busy Clinicians Master the Science and Art of Caring for People with HIV Disease." GB Virus-C (GBV-C) 3D Model with Cut-Away. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2017. <>.

Stapleton, Jack T., Carolyn F. Williams, and Jinhua Xiang. "GB Virus Type C: A Beneficial Infection?" Journal of Clinical Microbiology. American Society for Microbiology, Sept. 2004. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.

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