, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 183–186

Prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection in the household contacts of patients with HCV-related chronic liver disease

  • M. Coltorti
  • Nicola Caporaso
  • Filomena Morisco
  • Rosalba Suozzo
  • M. Romano
  • M. D'Antonio


It is still controversial whether the familial environment plays a role in the diffusion of HCV infection. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence of anti-HCV positivity in the household contacts of patients with HCV-related chronic hepatitis. Nearly all the household contacts of 113 subjects with anti-HCV+ chronic hepatitis (100/113 spouses and 260/290 children) were investigated. Anti-HCV was determined by means of ELISA II and was confirmed by RIBA II. Anti-HCV positivity was found in 27% of the spouses and in 1.9% of the children. Prevalence of anti-HCV positivity in spouses correlated positively with the duration of the marital status. Seventeen/32 (53.1%) of anti-HCV-positive subjects were found to have chronic hepatitis. This study indicates that intrafamilial diffusion of HCV infection is mostly accounted for by horizontal, in particular spouse to spouse, transmission and that spouse to spouse transmission of HCV infection correlates positively with the duration of marital status.

Prävalenz der Hepatitis-C-Virus-Infektion bei häuslichen Kontaktpersonen von Patienten mit HCV-assoziierter chronischer Lebererkrankung


Die Bedeutung der Familie als Faktor für die Ausbreitung der HCV-Infektion wird immer noch kontrovers diskutiert. In der vorliegenden Studie wurde versucht, die Prävalenz anti-HCV-positiver Fälle unter den häuslichen Kontaktpersonen von Patienten mit HCV-assoziierter chronischer Hepatitis zu bestimmen. Nahezu alle Kontaktpersonen von 113 Personen mit anti-HCV-positiver Hepatitis (100/113 Ehegatten, 260/290 Kinder) wurden untersucht. Für die Bestimmung von anti-HCV wurde ELISA-II mit Bestätigung durch RIBA II eingesetzt. 27% der Ehegatten und 1,9% der Kinder erwiesen sich als anti-HCV-positiv. Bei den Gatten korrelierte die Prävalenz der anti-HCV-Positivität mit der Dauer der Ehe. Bei 17/32 (53,1%) der anti-HCV-positiven Personen wurde eine chronische Hepatitis aufgedeckt. Diese Studie gibt Hinweise auf eine vorwiegend horizontale Übertragung der HCV-Infektion zwischen Ehegatten und eine positive Korrelation zwischen Übertragung und Dauer der Ehe.


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Copyright information

© MMV Medizin Verlag GmbH München 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Coltorti
    • 1
  • Nicola Caporaso
    • 1
  • Filomena Morisco
    • 1
  • Rosalba Suozzo
    • 1
  • M. Romano
    • 1
  • M. D'Antonio
    • 1
  1. 1.Medical School, II PoliclinicoIstituto di Medicina Generale e Metodologia ClinicaNaplesItaly

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