To study the transmission rate of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the female sexual partners of antibody-positive hemophilic males, 106 partners from three hemophilia centers located in Europe, America, and Australia were tested for HCV seropositivity using a first-generation enzyme- linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA-1) and, subsequently, a second- generation ELISA (ELISA-2) and a supplemental recombinant immunoblot assay. Additionally, the cohort was tested for the presence of antibody to the human immunodeficiency virus type-1 and hepatitis B virus markers. No female partner was HCV antibody-positive using the ELISA-1 test, whereas five were seropositive by the ELISA-2 test. Three of these five female partners were seropositive on the supplemental test, the remaining two having indeterminate results, for an overall prevalence of 2.7%. Thus, even with the use of sensitive testing, the prevalence of HCV infection remains low in this cohort, showing that the efficiency of heterosexual transmission of HCV is poor.
The low risk of hepatitis C virus transmission among sexual partners of hepatitis C-infected hemophilic males: an international, multicenter study
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DB Brettler, PM Mannucci, A Gringeri, JE Rasko, AD Forsberg, MG Rumi, RJ Garsia, KA Rickard, M Colombo; The low risk of hepatitis C virus transmission among sexual partners of hepatitis C-infected hemophilic males: an international, multicenter study. Blood 1992; 80 (2): 540–543. doi: https://doi.org/10.1182/blood.V80.2.540.bloodjournal802540
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