Epidemiology and Infection

Original Papers

Epidemiological characteristics and medical follow-up of 61 patients with acute hepatitis C identified through the hepatitis C surveillance system in France

C. BROUARDa1a2 c1, P. PRADATa3a4a5, E. DELAROCQUE-ASTAGNEAUa1 and C. SILVAINa6

the Hepatitis C Surveillance System Steering Committee

a1 Institut de Veille Sanitaire, Saint-Maurice, France

a2 Programme de formation à l'épidémiologie de terrain, Saint-Maurice, France

a3 Hospices Civils de Lyon, Hôtel Dieu, Service d'hépatologie et de gastroentérologie, Lyon, France

a4 INSERM, U871, Lyon, France

a5 Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, IFR62 Lyon-Est, Lyon, France

a6 Fédération Nationale des Pôles de Référence et Réseaux Hépatites, Clichy, France

Abstract

This study aimed to describe current epidemiological and clinical characteristics, medical follow-up and outcome in the real practice of acute hepatitis C (AHC) patients. AHC cases were retrospectively identified through the French Hepatology Reference Centres Surveillance system and additional data were collected. Sixty-one patients with AHC were identified (sex ratio: M/F 1·7/1; mean age 39 years). Forty-four (72%) had documented seroconversion within a 6-month period. Main reported risk exposures were intravenous or nasal drug use (35%), invasive medical procedures (25%) and sexual contact with a HCV-positive partner (20%). Spontaneous clearance of HCV RNA was observed in seven out of 16 patients followed without therapy. This study confirms the major role of drug use in HCV transmission and highlights the role of invasive medical procedures and occupational exposure.

(Accepted July 27 2007)

(Online publication August 16 2007)

Correspondence:

c1 Author for correspondence: C. Brouard, Institut de veille sanitaire, département des maladies infectieuses, 12 rue du Val d'Osne, 94415 Saint-Maurice, Cedex, France. (Email: c.brouard@invs.sante.fr)

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