Title: #202 HCV-RNA Is Readily Detectable in Nasal and Rectal Fluids of Patients with High Viremia – David Chromy, et al. By Lucinda Porter, RN
The purpose of this research was to better understand the mechanisms of HCV transmission among men who have sex with men (MSM). This prospective study enrolled 34 subjects with acute or chronic HCV infection. Researchers analyzed HCV RNA (viral load) obtained from rectal and nasal swabs from all participants. Fecal occult blood tests were performed to rule out rectal bleeding. Participants completed questionnaires to assess risk behavior related to recreational drug use and sexual practices.
Here are the results: The mean age of participants was 43 years; all but one were HIV-positive; 82% were male of whom 64% were MSM. Acute HCV was observed in 32% (11/34) with all subjects being HIV+MSM. Twenty-three (68%) patients had at least one positive swab sample (56% nasal and 52% rectal), whereas blood contamination was never detected. Individuals with positive swab samples had significantly higher HCV-RNA levels vs. those with negative swab samples.
Conclusion: Despite the absence of blood, HCV-RNA is readily detectable in rectal and nasal fluids in patients with acute and/or chronic hepatitis C. This suggests that unprotected anal intercourse and sharing of drugs via nasal route may be high-risk practices for HCV transmission, especially in patients with high HCV viral levels.
Editorial Comments: First, this is a small study. Second, we need more studies like this. Third, this research has the potential to shed light on transmission routes for which we need more information.Share This Page