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5879Lack of evidence for the heterosexual transmission of hepatitis C.

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  • claudine intexas
    Apr 30, 2001
      QJM 1999 Sep;92(9):505-8

      Lack of evidence for the heterosexual transmission of
      hepatitis C.

      Neumayr G, Propst A, Schwaighofer H, Judmaier G, Vogel

      Department of Internal Medicine, University of
      Innsbruck, Austria.

      The importance of sexual transmission in the
      epidemiology of hepatitis C
      virus (HCV) infection is still controversial. To
      assess the risk of
      heterosexual HCV transmission, we examined eighty
      patients with chronic
      HCV-associated liver disease and their spouses in a
      cross-sectional clinical
      and serological cohort study. Serum samples from index
      patients and their
      spouses were assayed for HCV antibodies and HCV RNA.
      In the couples positive
      for both, further HCV genotyping was done. A
      questionnaire addressing points
      such as additional risk factors for HCV infection,
      sexual behaviour or
      duration of partnership was completed by all couples.
      HCV antibodies were
      detected in four (5%) spouses, of whom three (4%) were
      also positive for
      HCV-RNA. HCV genotyping revealed concordance (genotype
      1) in two couples,
      indicating a risk of interspousal HCV transmission of
      2.5%. Spouses of
      patients with HCV viraemia and chronic liver disease
      have a low risk for
      acquiring HCV. Even long-term spouses seem not to be
      at increased risk. We
      therefore suggest that the risk of HCV transmission
      between monogamous sex
      partners does not depend on the duration of sexual

      PMID: 10627869, UI: 20093339

      J Viral Hepat 1998 Jan;5(1):67-72

      Spread of hepatitis C virus infection within families.
      Investigators of an
      Italian Multicenter Group.

      Caporaso N, Ascione A, Stroffolini T

      Dipartimento di Internistica Clinica e Sperimentale F.
      Magrassi, II
      Universita di Napoli, Italy.

      In 1995, the intrafamilial spread of hepatitis C virus
      (HCV) was evaluated
      among 1379 household contacts of 585 HCV
      antibody-positive HCV RNA-positive
      subjects (index cases) in Italy. All index cases were
      patients with
      histologically proven chronic liver disease. The
      presence of antibodies to
      HCV (anti-HCV) was assessed by third-generation
      enzyme-linked immunosorbent
      assay (ELISA); the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was
      used to test for HCV
      RNA. The overall anti-HCV prevalence among household
      contacts of index cases
      was 7.3% (101/1379); it was 15.6% in spouses and 3.2%
      in other relatives (P <
      0.05; odds ratio (OR), 6.5; 95% confidence interval
      (CI), 3.5-8.6). Spouses
      married to index cases for longer than 20 years had a
      significantly higher
      anti-HCV prevalence than those married 20 years or
      less (19.8% vs 8.0%; P<
      0.05; OR, 2.8; 95% CI, 1.5-5.3). Parenteral risk
      factors were more likely to
      be reported in anti-HCV positive than in anti-HCV
      negative household
      contacts. After adjustment for confounders by multiple
      logistic regression
      analysis, age greater than 4 5 years (OR, 3.1; 95% CI,
      1.6-5.3) and any
      parenteral exposure (OR, 3.7; 95% CI, 1.7-8.1), were
      the only independent
      predictors of the likelihood of anti-HCV positivity
      among household contacts.
      Spouses versus other relatives and length of marriage
      were both no longer
      associated. These findings suggest that sexual
      transmission does not seem to
      play a role in the intrafamilial spread of HCV

      Publication Types:
      Multicenter study

      PMID: 9493519, UI: 98152513

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