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Eur J Epidemiol. 2001;17(3):263-6.

Prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection in a cohort of pregnant women in northern Greece and transmission of HCV from mother to child.

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  • 1Fourth Medical Department, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. mrapto@med.auth.gr

Abstract

The prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and the mother-to-child transmission of HCV were studied in 2408 pregnant women. Positive antiHCV were detected in 47 women (1.95%), 21 of whom (44.7%) were HCVRNA(+), but only seven had abnormal aminotransferases. Three/21 HCVRNA(+) women had an abortion. We lost contact with other 10 women. Thirty-four babies were tested for antiHCV, HCVRNA and levels of aminotransferases at birth and at the age of 6 and 12 months. AntiHCV were detectable in all babies at birth and these maternally acquired antibodies disappeared by the age of 12 months in all but two of who were infected with HCV. HCVRNA was detected at birth in one (6.25%) baby born out of 16 HCVRNA(+) mothers and this baby also had abnormal aminotransferases. However, HCVRNA was undetectable and aminotransferases returned to normal levels by the age of 6 months. In another baby born also from an HCVRNA(+) mother, the HCVRNA was detected for the first time at the age of 12 months. The HCV genotype from both babies was the same as their mother's. These results show that (a) the high prevalence in the group of pregnant women studied can possibly be attributed to the fact that 311/2408 (12.91%) of them came from the former eastern countries, where disposable syringes were not used but lately or were ex-drug addicts and (b) there is a low risk of perinatal mother-to-child transmission of HCV and this risk is related to the presence of HCVRNA in the carrier mother.

PMID:
11680545
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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