Nosocomial hepatitis C virus infection in a renal transplantation center.
Zeytinoğlu A., Erensoy S., Abacioğlu H., Sayiner AA., Ozacar T., Başçi A., Kaplan H., Simmonds P., Bilgiç A.
Nosocomial hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections were recorded in the renal transplantation unit of the university hospital. There were cases of acute HCV infection with aggressive clinical courses diagnosed from a positive HCV RNA test in the early post-transplantation period and which remained anti-HCV negative. Their anti-HCV seronegativity was attributed to them having acquired HCV under intense immunosuppressive therapy and suggested that the aggressive clinical course could be due to the deficient immune response resulting in an inability to limit viral replication. There were also donors diagnosed as having acute HCV infection in the early post-operative period. Genotyping and sequence analysis for HCV were performed on the isolates of eight of these patients who were consecutively transplanted and of three donors whose recipients were infected with HCV prior to transplantation, and who acquired acute HCV infection after transplantation. Of the eight recipients in the first group three were genotype 1a, three were genotype 1b, one was genotype 3a, and the last one was genotype 4 according to Simmond's classification. Of the three donor-recipient couples both the HCV isolates from one couple were genotyped as 1b and the phylogenetic analysis indicated that the patients were infected with a common variant of HCV, but the genotypes of HCV isolates from the other couples were different. Recipients were genotype 1b and the donors were genotype 1a in these couples. Genotype results of the first group and donor-recipient couples, and sequence analysis of genotype 1b and 1a isolates, showed that the source of infection was not a unique strain and there were multiple breaks in universal precautions while managing these patients.