Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been associated with intravenous (IV) immunoglobulin (Ig), and plasma donations used to prepare IV Ig are now screened to prevent transmission. Thirty-six patients from the United Kingdom received infusions from a batch of anti-HCV antibody-screened intravenous Ig (Gammagard; Baxter Healthcare Ltd., Thetford, Norfolk, England) that was associated with reports of acute hepatitis C outbreak in Europe. The aim of this study was to document the epidemiology of this outbreak. METHODS: Forty-six patients from the United Kingdom treated with Gammagard (34 exposed and 12 unexposed to the batch) returned epidemiological questionnaires. RESULTS: Eighty-two percent of the exposed patients (28 of 34) became positive for HCV RNA. Eighteen percent of the patients (6 of 34) who had infusions with this batch tested negative for HCV RNA, but 2 of the patients had abnormal liver function and subsequently seroconverted to anti-HCV antibody positive. Twenty-seven percent of the patients (9 of 34) developed jaundice, and 79% (27 of 34) had abnormal liver transferase levels. Virus isolates (n=21), including an isolate from the implicated batch, were genotype 1a and virtually identical by sequence analysis of the NS5 region, consistent with transmission from a single source. CONCLUSIONS: Hepatitis C infection can be transmitted by anti-HCV-screened IV Ig. Careful documentation of IV Ig batch numbers and regular biochemical monitoring is recommended for all IV Ig recipients.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1120 - 1126


Acute Disease, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Child, Disease Outbreaks, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Genotype, Hepacivirus, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis C Antibodies, Humans, Immunoglobulins, Intravenous, Male, Middle Aged, Polymerase Chain Reaction, RNA, Viral, United Kingdom