Stored serum samples from the Transfusion-transmitted Viruses Study in the 1970s were tested for the presence of antibody to hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV). Single specimens from five control subjects who did not receive transfusions tested negative for anti-HCV. Of four control subjects who did not receive transfusions and who developed non-A, non-B (NANB) hepatitis after hospitalization, three remained anti-HCV negative; the fourth person with postoperative NANB hepatitis tested anti-HCV positive before the operation. Five transfusion recipients with posttransfusion hepatitis B virus infection remained seronegative; a sixth with NANB hepatitis as well as hepatitis B virus infection had seroconversion for anti-HCV. Five of nine transfusion recipients with NANB hepatitis had anti-HCV seroconversion. These results show that present anti-HCV testing demonstrates an etiologic basis for approximately half of the cases of transfusion-associated NANB hepatitis, particularly those that develop chronicity. Although cases of NANB hepatitis without seroconversion may be explained otherwise, they may be caused by another, presently unidentified, virus.
Mosley JW, Aach RD, Hollinger FB, Stevens CE, Barbosa LH, Nemo GJ, Holland PV, Bancroft WH, Zimmerman HJ, Kuo G, Choo Q, Houghton M. Non-A, Non-B Hepatitis and Antibody to Hepatitis C Virus. JAMA. 1990;263(1):77-78. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440010075034