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Acta Paediatr. 1995 Mar;84(3):251-5.

Mother-to-infant transmission of hepatitis C virus.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Florence, Italy.


Anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibodies and HCV-RNA were measured in the sera of 22 anti-HCV positive, HIV-1 negative mothers and their infants. ELISA and RIBA II were used for anti-HCV determination. HCV-RNA was measured by a nested polymerase chain reaction. HCV-RNA was found in 12 of 22 mothers. All 22 children were followed for 12 months. All were anti-HCV positive by the fourth month; 18 became anti-HCV negative between the 8th and 12th month. HCV-RNA was detected in 5 of 22 infants in the fourth month. They remained HCV-RNA positive. All children born to HCV-RNA negative mothers were HCV-RNA negative while 5 of 12 babies born to HCV-RNA positive mothers were infected. All five infected babies were born to mothers infected through transfusions or drug use. ALT levels in mothers seemed to have no effect on mother-to-infant transmission. Hence evidence for perinatal transmission of HCV from HCV-RNA positive mothers was demonstrated in the present study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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