Genetic factors in mother-to-child transmission of HCV infection.

Bevilacqua, E; Fabris, A; Floreano, P; Pembrey, L; Newell, ML; Tovo, PA; Amoroso, A; EPHN collaborators, ; (2009) Genetic factors in mother-to-child transmission of HCV infection. Virology, 390 (1). pp. 64-70. ISSN 0042-6822 DOI:

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HCV infection transmission rate in infants born to HCV-positive mothers is about 5%. HIV co-infection and high maternal RNA viral load are associated with increased transmission. The only genetic factor previously evaluated is HLA. We investigated the role of genetic factors already associated in adults with HCV infection evolution (HLA-DRB1, MBL2, TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma and IL-10), or liver disease progression (HFE and TGF-beta1). 384 Italian subjects were recruited, including 38 HCV-positive mother/child pairs; 104 infected, non-transmitting mothers with their 114 children; 21 vertically infected children and 69 HCV-exposed, uninfected children. Samples were analysed for previously described gene polymorphisms. Maternal HLA-DRB104 correlated with protection from vertical transmission (p=0.023), while HLA-DRB110 in children was a risk factor (p=0.036). Investigation of concordance degree in HLA-DRB1 locus revealed that a HLA mismatch between mother and child was a protective factor (p=0.017) indicating that alloreactive immune responses are involved in preventing HCV vertical transmission.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Medical Statistics
PubMed ID: 19481774
Web of Science ID: 268218200008


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