Advances in Clinical and Experimental Medicine
2019, vol. 28, nr 3, March, p. 313–318
Publication type: original article
Hepatitis C infection among pregnant women in central Poland: Significance of epidemiological anamnesis and impact of screening tests to detect infection
1 Department of Children's Infectious Diseases, Medical University of Warsaw, Poland
Background. Mother-to-child transmission is one of the main sources of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in children. However, because of the asymptomatic course of the illness, certain women may not be aware of their infection.
Objectives. The aim of this study was to estimate the significance of epidemiological anamnesis in diagnoses of HCV infection in women of reproductive age and to evaluate how screening among pregnant women impacts the detection of HCV infection.
Material and Methods. Epidemiological interviews of 432 mothers infected with HCV (but free of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)) were conducted in the Warsaw Hospital for Infectious Diseases (Poland) from 1998 to 2012.
Results. Complaints or abnormalities in laboratory tests were the reasons for anti-HCV antibody testing in 28.2% of mothers, whereas specific interview responses or occupational health care services group affiliation were the reasons for testing in 35.6%. However, in a large group of women, infection was only detected because of screening examinations. The introduction of routine screening for pregnant women (since 2010 in Poland) has led to the increased detection of HCV infection in women who did not present with infection risk factors (9.9% before 2010 vs 46.1% after 2010). This practice has also led to an increase in the percentage of women diagnosed during pregnancy (21.5% before 2010 vs 30.8% after 2010).
Conclusion. Establishing HCV infection risk factors during the interview process is the most common indicator for serological testing; however, not all infected cases can be diagnosed in this manner. Screening for anti-HCV antibodies in pregnant women increases the detection of HCV infection in this group.
pregnancy, HCV, screening, anti-HCV
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