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Grazia Tosone, Alberto Enrico Maraolo, Silvia Mascolo, Giulia Palmiero, Orsola Tambaro, Raffaele Orlando, Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Section of Infectious Diseases, University of Naples Federico II, 80131 Napoli, Italy
Author contributions: Tosone G and Orlando R designed the review and made the overview of the manuscript; Maraolo AE and Palmiero G collected and analyzed the data on hepatitis C virus infection in pregnancy and vertical transmission; Mascolo S and Tambaro O collected and analyzed the data on antiviral drugs, including animal model data.
Correspondence to: Grazia Tosone, MD, Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, Section of Infectious Diseases, University of Naples Federico II, Via Sergio Pansini 5, 80131 Napoli, Italy. firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: +39-08-17463082 Fax: +39-08-17493094
Received: February 14, 2014 Revised: May 7, 2014 Accepted: June 10, 2014 Published online: August 27, 2014
Core tip: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection during pregnancy is an emerging problem. While not negatively affecting acute hepatitis, it may exacerbate chronic hepatitis and worsen liver function in woman with liver cirrhosis. HCV does not affect delivery outcome apart from an increased risk of premature membrane rupture and cesarean delivery. The mother-to-child HCV transmission rate is low (3%-5%) and is related to high maternal viremia, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) coinfection, prolonged rupture of membranes, vaginal lacerations and invasive fetal monitoring. Cesarean delivery and no breastfeeding are indicated for HIV/HCV coinfected women. Antiviral therapy is not routinely offered to pregnant women and infants because of its side effects.