Vertical Transmission of HCV


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Abstract: Background. Knowledge about vertical transmission of HCV is still limited. In this study we followed up the virological status of a series of offspring born to anti-HCV positive, anti-HIV negative mothers.

Methods. Between January 1993 and January 1995, 5000 consecutive, anti-HIV negative pregnant women were screened for anti-HCV (ELISA III) and all positive samples were confirmed by RIBA III and analyzed for HCV-RNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Babies born to anti-HCV positive mothers were followed from birth to two years by testing for ALT levels, anti-HCV antibodies and HCV-RNA,

Results. Of 5000 mothers 80 (1.6%) were anti-HCV positive (ELISA III) and RIBA III positive. Of these, 56 (70%) were HCV-RNA positive. We examined 80 babies, born to anti-HCV positive mothers: 56 with HCV-RNA positive mothers and 24 with HCV-RNA negative mothers. Two babies (3.6%) of 56 were anti-HCV and HCV-RNA positive, with normal liver function tests. Seventy-eight babies (97.5%) of 80 (54 with HCV-RNA positive mothers and 24 with HCV-RNA negative mothers) were HCV-RNA negative, with normal liver function tests acid detectable levels of anti-HCV antibodies that gradually disappeared between 8-12 months.

Conclusion. Mother-to-infant transmission of HCV is possible only in the case of HCV-RNA positive mothers. In our study the rate of transmission is 3.6% (2/56 babies with HCV-RNA positive mothers). HCV transmission may occur without evident association with breastfeeding or vaginal delivery.

AUTHOR: La Torre A, Biadaioli R, Capobianco T, Colao MG, Monti M, Pulli F, Visioli CB, Zignego AL, Rubatelli F; SOURCE: ACTA OBSTETRICIA ET GYNECOLOGICA SCANDINAVICA 77: (9) 889-892 OCT 1998

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