Martinetti, M., Pacati, I., Cuccia, M., Badulli, C., Pasi, A., Salvaneschi, L., Minola, E., De Silvestri, A., Iannone, A.M., and Maccabruni, A.
International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology; April 2006, Vol. 19 Issue: 2 p369-378, 10p
Mother-to-infant transmission of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) represents the major cause of pediatric HCV infection today. Immunogenetic influence has been poorly investigated and mainly confined to HLA-class II serological polymorphisms. Among 290 parities, 135 from Pavia and 155 from Bergamo, of HCV-RNA-infected Italian women, 21 babies (7.24%) were HCV-RNA positive at birth and steadily positive over 20 months of life. All the 21 infected babies and 44 randomly selected uninfected ones, born to HCV-RNA+ mothers but steadily negative for HCV-RNA during a follow-up of 2 years, and their mothers were investigated for HLA-G, -C, -DRB1, -DQA1 and -DQB1 genomic polymorphisms. Among the different covariates, HLA-Cw*07, -G*010401, -DRB1*0701, -DRB1*1401 and homozigosity for HLA-G 14bp deletion can be considered as risk factors for HCV vertical transmission. On the contrary, protection was conferred by the HLA-DQB1*06, -G*0105N, -Cw*0602, DRB1*1104 and -DRB1*1302 alleles. Our initial question was: has the immunogenetic profile any role in the protection of the fetus growing in an infected milieu and, if so, is it independent from the other non-immunogenetic parameters? The answer to both questions should be yes.