Screening mothers who delivered infants via cesarean section, or who had undergone other surgical procedures, could reduce vertical transmission of HCV, according to findings presented by Mohamed Alboraie at United European Gastroenterology Week in Vienna.
Elrazek AE, MD, professor at Aswan School of Medicine, Aswan University, Egypt, and colleagues, suggested that infants born to mothers with HCV are often not screened for the infection. Unscreened children and mothers, then, may cause both vertical and horizontal transmission.
The researchers conducted a prospective cohort study among 3,836 pregnant women with HCV in Egypt to investigate the factors associated with HCV transmission. All women were screened during the third trimester or just before delivery, while newborns of mothers with HCV were screened 24 hours after delivery.
The prevalence of HCV genotype 4 among the mothers was 2.08% (n = 80), according to the results. Eighteen of these women (22.5%) underwent surgical intervention, while the remaining 77.5% underwent cesarean section. Vertical transmission was reported in 10 infants (12.5%).
Other findings indicated that results from some of the husbands pointed to sexual transmission as a causative factor. Additionally, maternal viremia greater than 3 X 106 was the primary prognostic factor for vertical transmission in these cases.
“Cesarean section and surgical operations are among the leading highest factors for HCV horizontal transmission,” the researchers wrote. “Screening women who had experienced surgical intervention or cesarean section during child bearing period and before pregnancy might prevent HCV mother-to-child transmission. Cesarean section should be ethically justified and would decrease global HCV transmission.” – Rob Volansky
Abdelrazek A, et al. Abstract LB-07. Presented at: United European Gastroenterology Week; Oct. 15-19, 2016; Vienna.
Disclosures: Abdelrazek reports no relevant financial disclosures.