The following is a physician-patient interaction that took place within TheBody.com's "Ask the Experts" forum on hepatitis.
|HCV congenital transmission probability
Dec 31, 2013
Hi Dr. Taylor,
I was wondering if it is always the case that if the mother has HCV then she will automatically pass it on to the baby or is it not always 100% transmissible? Does HCV genotype have anything to do with likelihood of passing on the virus?
| Response from Dr. Taylor
Good news here! In most cases, a woman with chronic hepatitis C does NOT pass the infection on to her baby. Overall the rate of passing on hep C to our babies is 3% - 5% or so. The genotype has no bearing on passage to a developing fetus. Being infected with HIV and using injection drugs during pregnancy increase the chance of passing along the hep C.
C-section is not recommended to decrease passage of hep C. Breastfeeding does not pass hep C and should be encouraged unless there is dual infection with HIV.
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