Intrafamilial transmission of hepatitis C infection in Egyptian multitransfused thalassemia patients

Fadwa Said, Amal El Beshlawy, Mona Hamdy, Mona El Raziky, Mai Sherif, Ahmed Abdel kader, Lamis Ragab
Journal of Tropical Pediatrics 2013, 59 (4): 309-13

OBJECTIVE: Detecting the current prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) among Egyptian multitransfused thalassemic patients and evaluating the risk of its transmission within their family members.

METHODS: Multitransfused Egyptian thalassemia patients (n = 137) were tested for HCV infection. Household contacts of positive members were compared with household contacts of HCV-negative patients. Antibodies to HCV were detected by enzyme immunoassay. Antibody-positive cases were retested for viral load using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. HCV genotyping was performed on positive samples of the patients and the positive household contacts.

RESULTS: In all, 34.4% of patients (n = 47) were positive for HCV antibodies and RNA. The study of 24 families of HCV-positive patients showed 14 affected family members (19.2%). In 27 families of HCV-negative patients, four family members were affected (4.9%). HCV genotyping of seven families was similar in both patients and their family members.

CONCLUSION: Our results support the role of intrafamilial transmission in the spread of HCV.

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