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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2001 Jan;20(1):10-4.

Prospective study of mother-to-infant transmission of hepatitis C virus.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Osaka University, Faculty of Medicine, Japan. tajiri@ped.med.osaka-u.ac.jp

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Mother-to-infant transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV) could become the main route of HCV infection in the future because there are no methods available to prevent vertical infection. The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of mother-to-infant transmission in infants born to mothers who tested positive for anti-HCV antibodies and to elucidate associated risk factors for transmission.

METHODS:

Screening was conducted for 16,800 pregnant women with an anti-HCV antibodies test, and 154 mothers were positive. From the positive group 141 mothers were enrolled in the study and their 147 infants were followed from birth for serum alanine aminotransferase activity, anti-HCV antibodies and HCV RNA. HIV infection was tested in 73 of 141 mothers, all of whom were negative.

RESULTS:

Thirty-three infants were dropped from the study because they were followed for <6 months or were not tested adequately. Of the 114 infants finally evaluated 9 (7.8%) had detectable HCV RNA. The transmission rate was not influenced by the mode of delivery [vaginal delivery, 8 of 90 vs. cesarean section, 1 of 24 (P = 0.396)] or by the type of feeding [9 of 98 for breast-fed infants vs. 0 of 16 for formula-fed infants (P = 0.243)]. All infected infants were born to mothers who had HCV viremia at the delivery (P = 0.040) and to those with a high viral load (P = 0.019).

CONCLUSIONS:

Our prospective study showed that the transmission rate of mother-to-infant HCV infection was 7.8% in anti-HCV antibody-positive mothers. Risk was related to the presence of maternal HCV viremia at delivery and a high viral load in the mothers.

PMID:
11176560
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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