Non-sexual household transmission of HCV infection: A cohort study
Objective. This study was designed to determine the prevalence and incidence of HCV infection among non-sexual household contacts of HCV-infected women and to describe the association between HCV infection and potential household risk factors in order to examine whether non-sexual household contact is a route of transmission for HCV infection. Methods. A baseline prevalence survey included 409 non-sexual household contacts of 241 HCV-infected index women in the Houston area from 1994 to 1997. A total of 470 non-sexual household contacts with no evidence of HCV infection at baseline investigation were re-assessed approximately three years after baseline enrollment. Information on potential risk factors was collected through face to face interviews and blood samples were tested for anti-HCV with ELISA-2 and Matrix/RIBA-2. The relationships between HCV infection and potential risk factors were examined by using univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses. Results. The overall prevalence of anti-HCV positivity among 409 non-sexual household contacts was 4.4%. The highest prevalence of anti-HCV was found in parents (19.5%), followed by siblings (8.1%) and other relatives (5.6%); the children had the lowest prevalence of anti-HCV (1.2%). The univariate analysis showed that IDU, blood transfusion, tattoos, sexual contact with injecting drug users, more than 3 sexual partners in a lifetime, history of a STD, incarceration, previous hepatitis, and contact with hepatitis patients were significantly associated with HCV infection, however, sharing razors, nail clippers, toothbrushes, gum, food or beds with HCV-infected women, and history of dialysis, health care job, body piercing, and homosexual activities were not. Multivariate analysis found that IDU (OR = 221.7 with 95% CI of 22.8 to 2155.7) and history of a STD (OR = 11.7 with 95% CI of 1.2 to 113.1) were the only variables significantly associated with HCV infection. No such associations remained for other risk factors. The three-year cumulative incidence of anti-HCV among 352 non-sexual household contacts of HCV-infected women was zero. Conclusion. This study has provided no evidence that non-sexual household contact is a likely route of transmission for HCV infection. The risk of sharing razors, nail clippers, toothbrushes, gum, food and/or beds with HCV-infected women is not evident and has not been shown to be the likely mode for HCV spread among family members. This study does suggest that IDU is the likely route of transmission for most HCV infection. Association also has been shown independently with a history of STD. The prevalence of anti-HCV among non-sexual household contacts was low. Exposure to common parenteral risk factors and sexual transmission between sexual partners may account for HCV spread among household members of HCV-infected persons.
Xiao, Fenyuan Xie, "Non-sexual household transmission of HCV infection: A cohort study" (1999). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI9981144.