Vertical transmission of hepatitis C virus

M. M. Thaler, D. W. Wara, G. Veereman-Wauters, D. V. Landers, R. L. Sweet, C. K. Park, M. Houghton, J. H. Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

256 Scopus citations


There is evidence that hepatitis C virus (HCV) may be vertically transmitted from infected mothers to their children. To test this hypothesis, we prospectively studied 10 pregnant women at high risk from parenterally or sexually transmitted diseases with the polymerase chain reaction. HCV RNA was found in 8 newborn babies delivered by women who were anti-HCV seropositive, and persisted for 2-19 months of follow-up. Anti-HCV detected in 7 infants cleared by 9 months and remained undetectable thereafter. Serum alanine aminotransferase was raised in 3 infants. The findings provide evidence of vertical transmission of HCV and suggest that perinatal infection may initiate a silent disease process or chronic carrier state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-18
Number of pages2
JournalThe Lancet
Issue number8758
StatePublished - Jul 6 1991

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
studies. This study was supported in part by the UC University-wide AIDS Research Program grant no R90SF225, the Bay Area Perinatal AIDS Center grant no NICHD 24640, and the Pediatrics Clinical Research Center grant no RR 01271.


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