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Gastroenterol Clin Biol. 1992;16(3):255-9.

[Prevalence of hepatitis C virus antibodies (tests ELISA 2 and RIBA 2) in a population of pregnant women in France].

[Article in French]

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Département d'Epidémiologie, CHU Henri-Mondor, Créteil.


We studied the prevalence of anti-HCV antibodies in a population of 2,367 pregnant women attending three public Parisian suburban hospitals. Of this group, 1,614 (68 percent) were French and 753 (32 percent) were immigrant women. The geographic origin of the immigrant population was North Africa (40 percent), West Africa (33 percent), Asia (14 percent), and South Europe (13 percent). Anti-HCV antibodies were tested by the Ortho ELISA second generation test. If present, the Ortho's four-antigen RIBA test and serum alanine aminotransferase determinations were done routinely. The overall prevalence was 1.73 percent. It was 1.55 percent in French women and 2.13 percent in immigrant women. Risk factors associated with anti-HCV were found in 68 percent of the anti-HCV positive French women and in 44 percent of the positive immigrant women. Risk factors were significantly more frequent in anti-HCV positive women in both groups. Among the 41 women with a positive ELISA test, 16/25 French women (64 percent) and 8/16 immigrants (50 percent) had a positive four-antigen RIBA test. Thus, the prevalence of a positive RIBA test was similar in both groups (0.99 and 1.06 percent), due to a higher proportion of false positive ELISA tests observed in the immigrants. These results show that, in French pregnant women: a) the prevalence of anti-HCV is twice as high as that found in blood donors and is a better estimation of the actual prevalence of these antibodies in France; b) positive ELISA 2 tests are most often confirmed by a positive RIBA 2 test.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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