Planned caesarean sections do not help to reduce the chances of a pregnant mother with Hepatitis C (HCV) transmitting the infection to her unborn baby, according to new scientific findings.
Infant infection rates are also linked to the number of mothers infected with the viral infection and the risk factors associated with the transmission of the infection to their unborn children in the womb.
The results of a new 5-year study of 559 mother-child pairs in Ireland show that vaginal delivery and planned caesarean among mothers infected with Hepatitis C display almost equal transmission rates of Hepatitis C from mother to child (4.2 percent and 3 percent respectively).
“The mode of delivery itself was not shown to have a significant influence on the transmission rate of hepatitis C from mother to child,” says Professor Fionnuala McAuliffe from the National Maternity Hospital in Dublin and the School of Medicine and Medical Science at University College Dublin, one of the authors of the report.
“The main risk factor associated with the vertical transmission of hepatitis C was the presence of detectable hepatitis C virus in the mother’s bloodstream, a condition where viruses enter the bloodstream and hence have access to the rest of the body.”
“Mothers who demonstrated detectable hepatitis C virus had a significantly higher transmission rate (7.1 percent) to their infants compared to the transmission rate (0 percent) for those in whom the hepatitis C virus was undetectable during pregnancy,” explains Professor McAuliffe.
“According to these new findings, if the Hepatitis C virus is undetectable antenatally despite the mother being antibody positive the patient can be reassured that the risk of vertical transmission to their child is minimal, and this is a significant development for patient counseling.”
MEDICA.de; Source: University College Dublin