Hepatitis F-G-H Viruses
Hepatitis F is technically a nonexistent virus. However, an infection common in the Far East has shown that a new virus, which is neither hepatitis B or C, has emerged. In some circles, this virus is being recognized as the hepatitis F virus. (Meers et al)
Hepatitis G (HGV) is an RNA virus and another member of the Flavivirus family similar to HCV with a good percentage of their genetic sequence being almost identical. So far, it does not seem to be infectious or cause any illness, but tends to coexist with other kinds of hepatitis infections. However, it has been found on rare occasions when no other kind of hepatitis is present.
HGV is a bloodborne virus transmitted in the same manner as other hepatitis viruses with about one in five people that have HCV also carrying HGV. It is a fairly recent discovery, first described in 1995 after being isolated in the blood samples of a Chicago surgeon. Blood tests are available to detect antibodies to HGV, but these are rarely ordered. No special therapy, other than rest, is undertaken.
Hepatitis H will undoubtedly be the name given to the next hepatitis virus to be isolated. Scientists are at a loss and are trying to understand why 10-15% of chronic hepatitis patients do not fit into any of the other hepatitis virus categories. So this may be a category waiting for a virus to claim it. There is evidence, however, of another hepatitis virus that has been temporarily labeled “non-A,non-E”. A patent is in progress for it to be called S.E.N.-V.