Background & aims: Neonates born to hepatitis C virus (HCV)-positive mothers are usually not screened for HCV. Unscreened children may act as active sources for social HCV transmission, and factors contributing for vertical HCV transmitting still remained controversial and needed optimization. We aimed to investigate the factors contributing for vertical HCV transmission in Egypt; the highest HCV prevalence worldwide.
Methods: We prospectively followed the neonates born to HCV-positive mother in the child-bearing period, to identify mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) factors from January 2015 to March 2016. Data mining computational analysis was used to quantify the findings.
Results: Among 3000 randomized pregnant women, prevalence of HCV was 46/3000 (1.53%). HCV vertical transmission was identified in eight neonates (17.39%). Only high viral load identified at 975.000 IU was the predictor risk for MTCT.
Conclusions: Hepatitis C virus in pregnancy has substantial risk for vertical HCV transmission: High viral load in HCV-positive women increases the risk of HCV transmission to neonates. Screening pregnant women during early stage of pregnancy and optimizing the HCV viral load in HCV-positive women might prevent vertical HCV transmission to neonates.
Keywords: delivery; hepatitis C virus; pregnancy; vertical transmission.
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.