Intrafamilial transmission of hepatitis C virus in patients with hepatitis C and human immunodeficiency virus coinfection.
Keiserman DR, Both CT, Mattos AA, Remiao J, Alexandre CO, Sherman KE.
Division of Digestive Diseases, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
The aim of this study was to determine whether hepatitis C virus (HCV)/HIV coinfection of index cases increases intrafamilial transmission (sexual and nonsexual contacts) of HCV.We prospectively enrolled 347 subjects, including 87 family members of 53 HCV/HIV-coinfected index cases and 134 family members of 73 HCV-monoinfected index cases, which served as a control group. All index cases and family members were interviewed, and a screening for HCV and HIV using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays was performed. Positive samples were confirmed by polymerase chain reaction and tested for genotype and HCV RNA viral load. A meta-analysis designed to assess the pooled risk of sexual transmission of HCV among HCV/HIV-coinfected patients was performed.Anti-HCV was detected in 2.2% of family members of HCV-monoinfected index cases and 2.3% of family members of HCV/HIV-coinfected index cases. Viral load was higher in coinfected index cases (7.2 x 10(6) mEq/ml) compared with HCV alone (1.9 x 10(6) mEq/ml), p = 0.01. HCV genotype concordance was observed in three family members of HCV-monoinfected index cases and in two family members of HCV/HIV-coinfected index cases. The pooled OR of the meta-analysis evaluating HIV as a cofactor of sexual transmission of HCV was 1.54 (95% CI = 0.76-3.12).Our data demonstrate a low prevalence of intrafamilial transmission of HCV, independent of the presence of HCV/HIV coinfection. This finding is supported by meta-analysis, which failed to identify HIV as an important cofactor of sexual transmission in HCV/HIV-coinfected patients.
Dr Sharat Misra MD, DM, FACG
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