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Hepatitis C. Can hepatitis C be genetic?

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Hepatitis C Test Results

My wife and I recently had a physical for life insurance. My wife found out that her Hep C test came back indeterminate and mine came back negative. We have been together and married for ten years. She recently had a test at her clinic and the test results were reactive. She hasent met with her doctor yet to discuss this. She is extremely low risk, but she did have a surgey in 1999 to repair an ACL injury. We have 9 month old son that we are very concerned about the possibilty that he has it. He was breast fed. What's your thoughts on the two test? Is there a chance of a false positive or is it more likely that she has Hep C. What about our son? At this time I don't know what kind of test was done at the clinic or at the life insurance exam.

Thanks for your help.
Posted Mon, 16 Apr 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Poorna Chandra K.S 2 days later
Thanks for posting your query.
The routine tests that are done at such places evaluate the levels of Anti-HCV antibodies (i.e. Antibody to Hepatitis C). The tests that are used presently are the third generation tests and are very sensitive and specific.
However, if you have any doubt, you could go for HCV RNA (Hepatitis C virus- Ribonucleic acid levels) testing. HCV is usually spread by contaminated blood and blood products.
It rarely spreads to the spouse in a steady monogamous relationship unless there were any associated genital infections. Similarly, the possibility that it was transmitted to your child through breastfeeding is extremely low.
Further, the risk of transmission depends on the viral load and hence it is a good idea to get the HCV RNA quantitative testing done.
Meanwhile, I would suggest that your wife should see a general physician so that she can be evaluated for evidence of liver inflammation and treatment can be started, if required.
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