Transient transmission of hepatitis C virus from mothers to newborns

M. Ketzinel-Gilad, S. L. Colodner, R. Hadary, E. Granot, D. Shouval, E. Galun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A study was performed in Israel to determine the rate of mother-to-infant HCV transmission in newborns at risk. A group of 22 HCV-infected mothers and their 23 newborns were followed up from early after birth by testing their serum for the presence of HCV antibodies and HCV-RNA. Antibody against HCV was detected in the blood of all newborns immediately after birth, but dropped to low or undetectable levels by 7 months of age. HCV-RNA was detected 2 days after birth in the blood of five infants (22%) but fell to undetectable levels by 6 months. HCV-HVR1 sequence analysis performed in one mother-infant pair on the second day after birth revealed two nucleotide changes. Two months later the same sequence was detected again in the HVR1, suggesting a very low replication rate. Thus, the study showed that vertically transmitted HCV was eliminated in all newborn infants by 6 months after delivery, with concomitant disappearance of HCV antibodies. The mechanism of HCV elimination in newborns at risk remains to be elucidated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-274
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


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