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Vertical transmission of Hepatitis C Virus in children born to HIV/HCV coinfected mothers in Poland

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The risk of vertical hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission is estimated at 3–6,2%. In children born to HIV/HCV coinfected mothers the vertical HCV transmission is as high as 15–36%.


To evaluate the incidence of mother-to-infant HCV transmission in children of HIV-infected mothers.


103 children born to HIV/HCV coinfected mothers were studied from June 2001 to October 2008. The follow-up in children was from 6 months to 5 years 6 months. None of them was breast-fed. History of IVDU had 94/103 mothers. Following test were performed in all children: anti-HCV antibodies (at the age of 4 weeks and above 12 months), GPT level (every 3 months of life), HCV-RNA in serum and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (at least twice in the first year of life). HCV-Ab and RT-PCR HCV were detected with ELISA III tests (Pointe) and Amplicor HCV, v2.0 (Roche), respectively. In case of PCR-HCV(+) or increased GPT level examination was repeated. HCV infection diagnosis was based on at least two positive PCR HCV results, one above 6 months of life.


Maternal HCV-Ab were detected in 99/103 (96%) of children. HCV RNA was detected in 13/103 (13%) children, in 6 children spontaneous clearance of HCV-RNA was diagnosed, 7 were chronically HCV infected. HIV infection was diagnosed in 16 children, HIV/HCV coinfection was not confirmed in any cases.


  • Children born to HIV/HCV coinfected mothers require thorough diagnostics of vertical HCV transmission.

  • Observation of children born to HIV/HCV(+) mothers should last at least 18 months after birth.

  • The risk of vertical HCV transmission in children born to HIV/HCV(+) mothers is high (13%).

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Correspondence to Sabina Dobosz.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Dobosz, S., Marczynska, M., Oldakowska, A. et al. Vertical transmission of Hepatitis C Virus in children born to HIV/HCV coinfected mothers in Poland. Retrovirology 6, P18 (2009) doi:10.1186/1742-4690-6-S1-P18

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  • Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell
  • Vertical Transmission
  • Spontaneous Clearance
  • Infection Diagnosis
  • Level Examination