Screening & prevalence of HCV in pregnancy: A narrative review
VKSK Priyanka Kavuluru
Background: Despite recent advances in the pathogenesis, treatment, and public health response to hepatitis C virus (HCV), HCV as it specifically relates to pregnancy has been a neglected condition and a markedly improved public health response to these populations is needed. HCV-monoinfected pregnant women have a 2–8% risk of viral transmission to their infant, but the mechanism and timing of mother to child transmission are not fully understood, nor is the natural history of the illness in pregnant women and their offspring. Recognition of HCV is relevant to infected pregnant women because of their risk of the long-term complications of infection, potential effects of infection on pregnancy, and risk of transmission to their infants. Unlike HIV; effective methods of prevention of HCV vertical transmission have not been developed. It is possible that a better understanding of HCV pathogenesis in pregnancy and MTCT of HCV infection will lead to useful prevention strategies, particularly as we enter an era where interferon-free drug cocktails may emerge as viable treatment options for HCV. Information on HCV infection in pregnant women in India is scanty. This study was carried out to investigate the screening and prevalence of HCV within an obstetric population and to identify the various risk factors for the viral infection in a view of limited studies and resources, important consideration on literature review taken.
Aim of study: The aim of the study is to investigate the screening and prevalence of HCV in Pregnancy.
Methods and material: A narrative review undertaken using the following databases in the end (September-October) of 2018, Pub Med, CINHAL, MEDLINE, National, International Journals and published articles regarding screening and prevalence of HCV in pregnancy.
Results: Twenty eight research studies from databases regarding screening and prevalence of HCV in pregnancy concluded that there is significant prevalence in pregnant women with associated risk factors posing risk for vertical transmission.
Discussion: In the review regarding screening and prevalence of HCV in pregnancy, there is an identifiable prevalence of Hepatitis C Virus among pregnant women. So, it is strongly recommended that all pregnant women with associated risk factors such as Past history of blood transfusion, surgery, and delivery by traditional birth attendant should be screened for anti-Hepatitis C virus in pregnancy, to know their infection status and thus prevent adverse outcome of pregnancy and its vertical transmission to their neonates.