TRANSMISSION OF HEPATITIS C VIRUS BETWEEN PARENTS AND CHILDREN

MOSTAFA K. MOHAMED National Hepatology and Tropical Medicine Research Institute, Cairo, Egypt; Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt; Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; South Egypt Cancer Institute and Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt; Center for Field and Applied Research, Qalyub, Egypt; Centre National de la Recherche Hépatites Virales B et C, Laboratoire Mixte Pasteur-Necker, Faculté de Necker, Paris, France

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LAURENCE S. MAGDER National Hepatology and Tropical Medicine Research Institute, Cairo, Egypt; Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt; Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; South Egypt Cancer Institute and Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt; Center for Field and Applied Research, Qalyub, Egypt; Centre National de la Recherche Hépatites Virales B et C, Laboratoire Mixte Pasteur-Necker, Faculté de Necker, Paris, France

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MOHAMED ABDEL-HAMID National Hepatology and Tropical Medicine Research Institute, Cairo, Egypt; Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt; Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; South Egypt Cancer Institute and Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt; Center for Field and Applied Research, Qalyub, Egypt; Centre National de la Recherche Hépatites Virales B et C, Laboratoire Mixte Pasteur-Necker, Faculté de Necker, Paris, France

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MAY EL-DALY National Hepatology and Tropical Medicine Research Institute, Cairo, Egypt; Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt; Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; South Egypt Cancer Institute and Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt; Center for Field and Applied Research, Qalyub, Egypt; Centre National de la Recherche Hépatites Virales B et C, Laboratoire Mixte Pasteur-Necker, Faculté de Necker, Paris, France

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NABIEL N. MIKHAIL National Hepatology and Tropical Medicine Research Institute, Cairo, Egypt; Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt; Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; South Egypt Cancer Institute and Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt; Center for Field and Applied Research, Qalyub, Egypt; Centre National de la Recherche Hépatites Virales B et C, Laboratoire Mixte Pasteur-Necker, Faculté de Necker, Paris, France

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FATMA ABDEL-AZIZ National Hepatology and Tropical Medicine Research Institute, Cairo, Egypt; Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt; Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; South Egypt Cancer Institute and Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt; Center for Field and Applied Research, Qalyub, Egypt; Centre National de la Recherche Hépatites Virales B et C, Laboratoire Mixte Pasteur-Necker, Faculté de Necker, Paris, France

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AHMED MEDHAT National Hepatology and Tropical Medicine Research Institute, Cairo, Egypt; Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt; Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; South Egypt Cancer Institute and Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt; Center for Field and Applied Research, Qalyub, Egypt; Centre National de la Recherche Hépatites Virales B et C, Laboratoire Mixte Pasteur-Necker, Faculté de Necker, Paris, France

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VALERIE THIERS National Hepatology and Tropical Medicine Research Institute, Cairo, Egypt; Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt; Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; South Egypt Cancer Institute and Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt; Center for Field and Applied Research, Qalyub, Egypt; Centre National de la Recherche Hépatites Virales B et C, Laboratoire Mixte Pasteur-Necker, Faculté de Necker, Paris, France

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G. THOMAS STRICKLAND National Hepatology and Tropical Medicine Research Institute, Cairo, Egypt; Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt; Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; South Egypt Cancer Institute and Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt; Center for Field and Applied Research, Qalyub, Egypt; Centre National de la Recherche Hépatites Virales B et C, Laboratoire Mixte Pasteur-Necker, Faculté de Necker, Paris, France

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Egyptian children with infected parents are at high risk of infection with hepatitis C (HCV). Analysis of data collected during surveys of rural communities show children whose parents had antibodies to HCV (anti-HCV) were at higher risk for having anti-HCV than children whose parents did not. The association was greater with mothers than fathers and when the parent had HCV RNA. For instance, 87 (14%) of 612 children had anti-HCV whose mothers had HCV RNA compared with 28 (7%) of 401 whose mothers only had anti-HCV and 79 (2.6%) of 3,086 whose mothers were seronegative. These associations persisted after controlling for age, parenteral exposures, and serologic status of the other parent. Sequencing isolates from 13 families with parent(s) and children having HCV RNA showed 10 of 18 had genetically similar viruses. These findings suggest Egyptian children are at high risk of being infected with HCV by their parents and identification of the transmission routes would allow for preventive measures.

Author Notes

Reprint requests: G. Thomas Strickland, International Health Division, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 660 W. Redwood Street, Baltimore, MD 21201, E-mail: tstrick@epi.umaryland.edu.
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