Prevalence of hepatitis C virus infection among human immunodeficiency virus-1-infected pregnant women in Malawi: The BAN study

Charles S. Chasela, Patrick Wall, Jan Drobeniuc, Caroline C. King, Eyasu Teshale, Mina C. Hosseinipour, Sascha R. Ellington, Mary Codd, Denise J. Jamieson, Rodney J. Knight, Patricia Fitzpatrick, Athena P. Kourtis, Irving F. Hoffman, Dumbani Kayira, Noel Mumba, Deborah D. Kamwendo, Francis Martinson, William Powderly, Charles van der Horst, Saleem Kamili

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17 Scopus citations


Background: In Sub-Saharan Africa, prevalence estimates of hepatitis C virus (HCV) vary widely. Objectives: To assess the prevalence of HCV infection among HIV-infected, pregnant women screened for a large clinical trial in Lilongwe, Malawi. Study design: Plasma from 2041 HIV-infected, pregnant women was screened for anti-HCV IgG using a chemiluminiscent immunometric assay (CIA). Specimens with a signal-cut-off ratio ≥ 1.00 were considered reactive and those with S/Co ratio < 1.00 non-reactive. All CIA-reactive specimens were tested by a recombinant immunoblot assay (RIBA) for anti-HCV and by PCR for HCV RNA. Results: Of 2041 specimens, 110 (5.3%, 95% CI: 4.5-6.5%) were CIA reactive. Of the 109 CIA reactive specimens available for RIBA testing, 2 (1.8%) were positive, 28 (25.7%) were indeterminate, and 79 (72.5%) were negative. All CIA-reactive specimens were HCV RNA negative (n= 110). The estimated HCV prevalence based on the screening assay alone was 5.3%; based on supplemental RIBA testing, the status of HCV infection remained indeterminate in 1.4% (28/2040, 95% CI: 0.1-2.0) and the prevalence of confirmed HCV infections was 0.1% (2/2040, 95% CI: 0-0.4%). Conclusions: HCV seroprevalence among HIV-infected, pregnant women in Malawi confirmed by supplemental RIBA HCV 3.0 is low (0.1%); CIA showed a high false-reactivity rate in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-320
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Clinical Virology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2012


  • HCV
  • HIV
  • Malawi
  • Pregnant women


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