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A Journal on Obstetrics and Gynecology

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Minerva Ginecologica 2000 March;52(3):59-62

language: English

Vertical transmission of hepatitis C virus and follow-up of newborns from infected mothers

Polatti F., Viazzo F., Colleoni R., Belloni C., Zara F.


Background. Aim of the study is to analyze the rate of vertical transmission of HCV and the time of clearance of maternal antibodies in non-infected babies serum.
Methods. We have studied 36 babies born to HCV-positive and HIV-negative pregnant women at the University of Pavia. All mothers underwent blood tests to evaluate the presence of anti-HCV antibodies and viral RNA during pregnancy and after delivery. All babies underwent several tests at different times to evaluate the presence of viral RNA and the clearance of maternal antibodies.
Results. All babies proved HCV-Ab positive at birth, but only one case (2.7%) proved infected at PCR analysis. Different patterns of HCV-Ab clearance were noted in the 35 non-infected babies. Of 24 babies from HCV-RNA-positive mothers, HCV-Ab reached zero in 24 months while in 11 babies from HCV-RNA-negative mothers, the antibodies disappeared at 12 months. A statistical difference was noted bet-ween the two groups of babies for the time of clearance of antibodies.
Conclusions. The risk of vertical transmission in babies born to HCV-RNA negative mothers is very low, and the clearance of maternal antibodies is set within 12 months of follow-up. Mothers positive to HCV-RNA have a higher risk of transmitting the virus to their offspring and the time of clearance of antibodies in non-infected babies seems to be longer. A correct follow-up of these children must be no shorter than 24 months.

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