Novel antiviral therapies with overwhelmingly positive sustained
virologic response rates have dominated headlines in hepatitis C virus
for the past few years, but many experts said eradication efforts may
never completely succeed until the clinical community deals with
vertical transmission of the disease.
There may be as many as 11 million children with HCV in the world, according to Kathleen B. Schwarz, MD,
professor of pediatrics, director of the Pediatric Liver Center at
Johns Hopkins and president of the Federation of International Societies
of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition.
Philip Rosenthal, MD, professor of pediatrics and
surgery, director of pediatric clinical research, pediatric hepatology
and liver transplant research and pediatric hepatology at the University
of California, San Francisco, pushed that number higher, suggesting
that as many as 7,500 new cases occur from vertical transmission each
year in the United States. “Spontaneous clearance of the virus can be
seen in up to 40% of infants infected by vertical transmission, but only
in 6% to 12% of older children with HCV,” he told HCV Next. “A
small subset of children — between 20% and 25% — can have more
aggressive disease with evidence of cirrhosis or hepatocellular
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Labels: mother-to-child transmission, vertical transmission