Current UK NSC recommendations > Hepatitis C (pregnancy)

The UK NSC recommendation on Hepatitis C screening in pregnancy

Recommendation Systematic population screening programme not recommended
Last review completed December 2011
Next review due in 2013/14
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Universal screening for hepatitis C in pregnancy is not recommended.


There are currently no interventions which have been shown to significantly reduce the risk of transmission to the baby. The exception to this is the small group of women with HIV / HCV coinfection. In addition there is insufficient information on the prevalence of hepatitis C in the pregnant population and on the natural history of vertically acquired infection.


Recent developments in the treatment of hepatitis C have changed the terms of the debate about screening for hepatitis C in pregnancy. This is a rapidly evolving area with discussion shifting to focus on a postnatal screening strategy and the identification of children who would benefit from early intervention.  However, the effectiveness of new treatment regimens in the paediatric population and their impact on the assessment of screening are currently insufficiently understood to recommend that all pregnant women should be offered screening.


Find general information about population health screening.

More about Hepatitis C (pregnancy)

Hepatitis B and C are serious viral diseases which affect the liver and are blood borne. Both viruses may cause acute illness. However, in the majority of children these viruses become chronic with liver damage only becoming apparent in adulthood. The common way of spreading or acquiring the infection are babies born to hepatitis B or C positive mothers, sharing of toothbrushes or razors amongst family members, or intravenous drug abuse. 

» Read more about hepatitis C on NHS Choices


British Society for Immunology
Faculty of Public Health
Hepatitis C Trust
King's College Hospital NHS Trust Paediatric Liver Centre
Royal College of General Practitioners
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Royal College of Physicians
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

The stakeholder groups will be involved when the recommendation is next reviewed. If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us. More information for stakeholders can be found in appendix C of the UK NSC evidence review process.

Related documents

icon Hepatitis C in pregnancy policy review summary (PDF document, 166KB, 15/12/11)

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