Transient transmission of hepatitis C virus from mothers to newborns

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


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

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgements We would like to thank R. Adler, A. Klein, N. Daudi, R. Barsuk, L. Rivkin, H. Sahmuel, M. Rowe, and G. Matveev for their invaluable technical support. We acknowledge the support of the “Hermann J. Abs Program” of the Deutsche Bank AG, and the support of the Schumacher-Kramer Stichting Foundation, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


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