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.
Dr Abd Elrazek and colleagues from Egypt investigated the factors contributing for vertical HCV transmission in Egypt, which has the highest HCV prevalence worldwide.
The researchers prospectively followed the neonates born to HCV-positive mother in the child-bearing period, to identify mother-to-child transmission factors from 2015 to 2016.
|HCV vertical transmission was identified in 18% of neonates|
Data mining computational analysis was used to quantify the findings.
The team found that among 3000 randomized pregnant women, prevalence of HCV was 2%.
HCV vertical transmission was identified in 18% of neonates.
The researchers identfied that only high viral load at 975.000 IU was the predictor risk for mother-to-child transmission.
Dr Elrazek's team concluded, "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."