Mother-to-infant transmission of GB virus type C/HGV

Mother-to-infant transmission of GB virus type C/HGV

Mother-to-infant transmission of GB virus type C/HGV

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The potentially hepatotropic flavivirus-like virus, GB virus type C (GBV-C)/HGV, has been detected in a few patients with acute and chronic hepatitis and in a certain proportion of blood donors and recipients of blood or blood components.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS:

Sera from 2979 pregnant Japanese women were examined for the presence of GBV-C/HGV RNA by nested RT-PCR. Mothers who were positive for viral RNA and their 34 infants were followed and tested for infection.

RESULTS:

Of the 2979 women, 32 (1.1%) were positive for GBV-C/HGV RNA. Twenty-six (76.5%) of 34 babies born to these women were positive for the virus when first tested. A significantly higher titer of viral RNA was observed in mothers whose infants were infected than in those whose infants were uninfected (mean +/- SD, 10(6.3 +/- 0.9) vs. 10(4.6 +/- 0.9)/mL; p<0.001). Twenty-three (96%) of 24 babies born to mothers whose serum viral titers were 10(6) mL or more were infected with the virus. Infants delivered by elective caesarean section had a lower risk (OR, 0.13; 95% CI, 0.02-0.82) than those delivered vaginally or by emergency caesarean section. No other risk factors for mother-to-infant transmission were confirmed.

CONCLUSIONS:

GBV-C/HGV is frequently transmitted from mothers to infants in the general population. The most critical factor is the titer of viral RNA in the maternal serum. By the use of elective caesarean section in women with high titers of viral RNA, vertical transmission of the virus may be lessened.

 

 

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