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Severity of hepatitis C and HIV co-infection in mothers contribute to HCV transmission to child
Date:4/27/2011

New research shows that high maternal viral load and co-infection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are the only risk factors associated with vertical transmission of the hepatitis C virus (HCV-VT). A variation in the infant's IL28B gene (CC) is associated independently with the spontaneous clearance of HCV genotype-1 among infected children. The status of IL28B in the mother or children did not increase risk of HCV-VT in this study. Findings are published in the May issue of Hepatology, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Chronic HCV affects 170 million individuals worldwide, with 10% to 15% of cases leading to cirrhosis and liver cancer. A major route of infection in children is vertical transmission of HCV (HCV-VT)known also as mother-to-child transmissionand may occur in utero or following birth (breast feeding). While medical evidence has described risk factors involved in HCV-VT, underlying transmission mechanisms and timing of disease transmission is not fully understood. Prior studies have investigated the relationship between HCV-VT and maternal HCV genotype, birth mode (vaginal or caesarean) and type of feeding (breast feeding or replacement), but results have been conflicting.

"Our study analyzed the role of IL28B in HCV-VT and the spontaneous clearance of HCV among infected infants," said ngeles Ruiz Extremera, M.D., of San Cecilio University Hospital in Spain. The team recruited 145 mothers who were infected with HCV and gave birth between 1991 and 2009. All women were Caucasian112 were HCV RNA positive and HIV negative; 33 were HCV RNA negative and HCV antibody positive. A total of 142 children were birthed by HCV-RNA positive mothers and 43 children to HCV-RNA negative mothers, all of whom were followed for six years or more. HCV-VT was defined as children who presented with HCV-RNA positive results from two blood samples.

Analysis showed that 61% of the 3
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Contact: Dawn Peters
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Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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