A significan sex—but not elective cesarean section—effect on mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis C virus infection

A. Amoroso, F. Asensi-Botet, A. Pereda, V. Balossini, G. Bona, M. Zaffaroni, A. Bandelloni, A. Coscia, C. Fabris, S. Aime, C. Belloni, G. Bossi, B. Salati, C. Boucher, W. Buffolano, K. Butler, L. Cabero Roura, J. M. Bertran Sanges, P. Cigna, L. M. CiriaC. Servera Ginard, G. Claret Teruel, C. Fortuny, O. Coll, A. Corrias, R. Ledda, S. Floris, A. De Maria, J. Echeverria, G. Cilla, M. Lanari, E. Tridapalli, V. Venturi, G. Faldella, B. Fischler, A. B. Bohlin, S. Lindgren, G. Lindh, V. Giacomet, M. Merlo, C. Figini, P. Erba, A. Viganò, S. Hannam, G. Mieli-Vergani, A. Hatzakis, C. Inchley, H. O. Fjaerli, A. Maccabruni, M. Marcellini, M. R. Sartorelli, P. Martin Fontelos, A. Mazza, J. Y.Q. Mok, A. Mûr, M. Viñolas, D. M. Paternoster, P. Grella, S. Polywka, I. Quinti, A. M. Casadei, A. Rojahn, A. Berg, R. Rosso, S. Ferrando, D. Bassetti, J. Ruiz Contreras, A. Manzanares, A. Ruiz Extremera, F. Salvini, G. V. Zuccotti, T. Schmitz, I. Grosch-Wörner, C. Feiterna Sperling, T. Piening, A. Vegnente, R. Iorio, A. Versace, S. Garetto, L. Lazier, S. Bressio, C. Riva, A. Alfarano, R. Wejstal, G. Norkrans, A. Zanetti, E. Tanzi, Pier Angelo Tovo, Lucy Pembrey, Marie Louise Newell

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© 2005 by the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. Background. Risk factors for mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis C virus (HCV) are poorly quantified Methods. We conducted a European multicenter prospective study of HCV-infected pregnant women and their infants. Children with ≥2 positive HCV RNA polymerase chain reaction test results and/or anti-HCV antibodies after 18 months of age were considered to be infected. Results. The overall HCV vertical transmission rate was 6.2% (95% confidenc interval [CI], 5.0%–7.5%; 91/1479). Girls were twice as likely to be infected as boys (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 2.07 [95% CI, 1.23–3.48];). P =.006 There was no protective effect of elective cesarean section (CS) delivery on HCV vertical transmission (adjusted OR, 1.46 [95% CI, 0.86–2.48]; P =.16). HCV/human immunodeficienc virus-coinfected women more frequently transmitted HCV than did women with HCV infection only, although the difference was not statistically significan (adjusted OR, 1.82 [95% CI, 0.94–3.52]; P =.08). Maternal history of injection drug use, prematurity, and breast-feeding were not significantl associated with transmission. Transmission occurred more frequently from viremic women, but it also occurred from a few nonviremic women. Conclusions. Our results strongly suggest that women should neither be offered an elective CS nor be discouraged from breast-feeding on the basis of HCV infection alone. The sex association is an intriguing findin that probably reflect biological differences in susceptibility or response to infection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1872-1879
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005


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