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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Minerva Ginecologica 1999 April;51(4):117-20

language: Italian

Maternal-fetal transmission of HCV. The role of HIV as a risk factor

Catalano D., Pollio F., Ercolano S., Ascione L., Desantis B., Russo C.


Background. The aim of this study is to determine the rate of vertical transmission of hepatitis C and to analyse the concomitant infection by HIV as a risk factor.
Methods. We have studied the perinatal transmission of HCV in 22 pregnancies: 14 in women HCV+/HIV-, 8 in women HCV+/HIV+. We have performed the following tests on sera: test RIBA II to search for Ab anti-HCV, alanine transaminase (ALT) evaluation and HCV-RNA research by PCR. These tests were performed on sera from infants at birth and, then, during one year every three months.
Results. Within one year Ab anti-HCV disappeared in 20 of 22 pregnancies: two infants positive by Ab anti-HCV were born to HIV+ mothers and they were the only two who showed abnormal ALT values and detectable levels of HCV-RNA. Finally 10 of 14 infants born to HCV+/HIV- mothers were breast-fed and none was infected.
Conclusions. We conclude that HCV mother-to-child transmission is an uncommon event, breast-milking is safety, and the concomitant infection by HIV could represent a risk factor for vertical transmission of hepatitis C.

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