Increased risk of maternal-infant hepatitis C virus transmission for women coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1. Italian Study Group for HCV Infection in Children

Clin Infect Dis. 1997 Nov;25(5):1121-4. doi: 10.1086/516102.


To estimate the risk of mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and identify correlates of transmission, 245 perinatally exposed singleton children followed prospectively beyond 18 months of age were studied. Overall, 28 (11.4%) of the 245 children acquired HCV infection. Transmission occurred in 3 of 80 children (3.7%) whose mothers had HCV infection alone and in 25 of 165 (15.1%; P < .01) whose mothers had concurrent infection with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). The percentage of HIV-1-infected children was similar (22 of 165, 13.3%), but each virus was transmitted independently; only six infants (3.6%) were coinfected with HCV and HIV-1. The risk of HCV transmission was not associated with maternal HIV-1-related symptoms, intravenous drug use, prematurity, low birth weight, or breast-feeding, whereas it was lower with cesarean section than with vaginal delivery (5.6% vs. 13.9%, P = .06). This suggests that transmission occurs mainly around the time of delivery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / transmission*
  • AIDS-Related Opportunistic Infections / virology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • HIV-1*
  • Hepatitis C / complications
  • Hepatitis C / transmission*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / virology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors