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The Prevalence of HCV Infection in a Cohort of Pregnant Women, the Related Risk Factors and the Possibility of Vertical Transmission

M. Tanzi, E. Bellelli, G. Benaglia, E. Cavatorta, A. Merialdi, E. Mordacci, M. L. Ribero, A. Tagger, C. Verrotti and A. Volpicelli
European Journal of Epidemiology
Vol. 13, No. 5 (Jul., 1997), pp. 517-521
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3581892
Page Count: 5
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The Prevalence of HCV Infection in a Cohort of Pregnant Women, the Related Risk Factors and the Possibility of Vertical Transmission
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Abstract

The prevalence of antibodies for one or more HCV antigens was 2.3% of 1,347 mothers at childbirth. Compared with the principal factors studied, the presence of antibodies was more frequent in women who were carriers of HIV infection (3/3), in those who had suffered liver diseases (5/37) or who had had transfusion (3/25). This was as opposed to women who did not have any risk factor (p < 0.001). The prevalence of HCV-RNA was 1.3%; in relation to the antibody state, such a condition was more frequent in subjects with antibodies for 3 or 4 antigens (about 80%) compared with those who were positive for 1 or 2 antigens. HCV-RNA of the same genotype as the mother (type 1; 1a) was also found in the funicular blood of 2 of the 18 babies born to mothers who were positive for HCV-RNA. In the course of the follow-up (from the 3rd to the 18th month) the viral RNA was not found in any of the babies, nor was it found in the 2 who were positive at birth. Even the antibodies gradually disappeared, although slowly. At the 10th month, 91% of the babies resulted as having no antibodies and at the 18th month none of the babies resulted as having antibodies. Breast-feeding also appeared to have no influence on the transmission of the infection; out of 18 viremic mothers indeed 12 (67%) breast-fed their babies.

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