Journal Article

Low Risk of Vertical Transmission of Hepatitis C Virus by Breast Milk

Susanne Polywka, Matthias Schröter, Heinz-Hubert Feucht, Bernhard Zöllner and Rainer Laufs

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 29, issue 5, pages 1327-1329
Published in print November 1999 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online November 1999 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/313473
Low Risk of Vertical Transmission of Hepatitis C Virus by Breast Milk

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To evaluate the risk of hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission via breast milk, we collected 76 samples of breast milk from 73 chronically HCV-infected women and serum samples from their 76 perinatally HCV-exposed children. Enzyme immunoassay and strip immunoblot assay were used for detection of antibodies to HCV, and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction analysis was used for detection of HCV RNA. None of the 76 samples of breast milk contained HCV RNA, whereas 37 (59.7%) of 62 mothers tested for HCV RNA had HCV viremia. Only 1 of the 76 breast-fed infants had evidence of HCV infection. Because HCV infection in this child was detected 1 month after birth, it seems unlikely that it was transmitted by breast-feeding. These results indicate that HCV infection in pregnant women should not be a contra-indication for breast-feeding.

Journal Article.  2077 words. 

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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