Evaluation of hepatitis C virus intrafamilial transmission among families with one index case; a pilot study from Fars province, Iran

Gastroenterology and Hepatology from bed to bench

Volume 9 - Number 4

Article Type: Original Article
Aim: Our aim was to survey the rate and risk factors for Hepatitis C virus interfamilial transmission among families with one index case.
Background: The role of intrafamilial transmission in Hepatitis C virus epidemiology is still debated.
Patients and methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 34 families (236 members) of HCV infected patients from Fars province, spring to summer 2013. All subjects were first evaluated for the risk factors of exposure and then their serum was checked for the presence of HCV antibody and the genome, using ELISA and PCR. The genotype of all PCR positive cases was also determined by a commercial assay. Two independent sample t test and Chi-Square test were used to compare groups together.
Results: In 18 out of 34 families, HCV antibody was detected (52.9%) in new members. Among them, HCV transmission in 11 families (32%) was also confirmed by PCR. Having a history of intravenous drug abuse (P=0.006) and incarceration (P=0.01) showed to be important risk factors for interfamilial transmission. Hence, blade/needle sharing (P=0.016) just following molecular assay and sex (P=036) only in the serologic analysis were also determined as significant risk factors. Furthermore, based on serologic results, medium socioeconomic state was further associated with this manner of transmission (P=0.019 and P=0.328). Interestingly, among relatives, 13 cases were brothers while just 5 cases were couples. The genotypes 3a and 1a were more prevalent among the population.
Conclusion: In conclusion, our finding highlighted a noticeable role of interfamilial transmission for HCV spread and supports the significant role of close relatives, especially brother relationship in this spread. Hence, the socioeconomic state was associated with the transmission rate of virus in the family.