As a high number of patients with antibodies to hepatitis C (anti-HCV) do not have a known history of parenteral acquisition, other non-parenteral means of hepatitis C virus transmission must be studied.
We investigated 1451 household contacts of 535 anti-HCV positive, human immunodeficiency virus-negative index patients.
Overall, the prevalence of anti-HCV in household contacts was 4.5%. Thirty (7.6%) out of the 394 heterosexual stable partners were anti-HCV positive as compared to 35 (3.3%) out of 1057 non-sexual contacts (p<0.01).
The prevalence of anti-HCV was lowest in children of the index cases (1.8%). In this group, the prevalence of anti-HCV was 3% (10/330) when the mother was the index case, as opposed to 0.6% (2/328) when the father was the index case (p<0.05).
The prevalence of anti-HCV increased with age, being highest (18.6%) in family contacts older than 60 years.
Transmission of hepatitis C virus may occur among household contacts of anti-HCV positive patients.
Sexual contact or the use of non-disposable medical material in the past might explain the higher prevalence of anti-HCV found in sexual partners and in family contacts older than 60 years of age.
Anti-HCV screening should be performed in family contacts of anti-HCV positive patients, particularly in those contacts older than 20.
Mots-clés Pascal : Hépatite virale C, Virose, Infection, Transmission homme homme, Virus hépatite C, Flaviviridae, Virus, Parent, Epidémiologie, Facteur expansion, Exploration immunologique, Etude statistique, Homme, Appareil digestif pathologie, Foie pathologie
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Viral hepatitis C, Viral disease, Infection, Transmission from man to man, Hepatitis C virus, Flaviviridae, Virus, Parent, Epidemiology, Expansion factor, Immunological investigation, Statistical study, Human, Digestive diseases, Hepatic disease
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 96-0400362
Code Inist : 002B05C02G. Création : 10/04/1997.