Clustering of HCV coinfections on HIV phylogeny indicates domestic and sexual transmission of HCV

Kouyos, Roger D; Rauch, Andri; Böni, Jürg; Yerly, Sabine; Shah, Cyril; Aubert, Vincent; Klimkait, Thomas; Kovari, Helen; Calmy, Alexandra; Cavassini, Matthias; Battegay, Manuel; Vernazza, Pietro L; Bernasconi, Enos; Ledergerber, Bruno; Günthard, Huldrych F; Egger, Matthias; Furrer, Hansjakob; Keiser, Olivia; Schöni-Affolter, Franziska and Swiss HIV Cohort, Study (2014). Clustering of HCV coinfections on HIV phylogeny indicates domestic and sexual transmission of HCV. International journal of epidemiology, 43(3), pp. 887-896. Oxford University Press 10.1093/ije/dyt276

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HCV coinfection remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality among HIV-infected individuals and its incidence has increased dramatically in HIV-infected men who have sex with men(MSM).


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) coinfection in the Swiss HIV Cohort Study(SHCS) was studied by combining clinical data with HIV-1 pol-sequences from the SHCS Drug Resistance Database(DRDB). We inferred maximum-likelihood phylogenetic trees, determined Swiss HIV-transmission pairs as monophyletic patient pairs, and then considered the distribution of HCV on those pairs.


Among the 9748 patients in the SHCS-DRDB with known HCV status, 2768(28%) were HCV-positive. Focusing on subtype B(7644 patients), we identified 1555 potential HIV-1 transmission pairs. There, we found that, even after controlling for transmission group, calendar year, age and sex, the odds for an HCV coinfection were increased by an odds ratio (OR) of 3.2 [95% confidence interval (CI) 2.2, 4.7) if a patient clustered with another HCV-positive case. This strong association persisted if transmission groups of intravenous drug users (IDUs), MSMs and heterosexuals (HETs) were considered separately(in all cases OR >2). Finally we found that HCV incidence was increased by a hazard ratio of 2.1 (1.1, 3.8) for individuals paired with an HCV-positive partner.


Patients whose HIV virus is closely related to the HIV virus of HIV/HCV-coinfected patients have a higher risk for carrying or acquiring HCV themselves. This indicates the occurrence of domestic and sexual HCV transmission and allows the identification of patients with a high HCV-infection risk.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Haematology, Oncology, Infectious Diseases, Laboratory Medicine and Hospital Pharmacy (DOLS) > Clinic of Infectiology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)

UniBE Contributor:

Rauch, Andri, Egger, Matthias, Furrer, Hansjakob, Keiser, Olivia, Schöni-Affolter, Franziska


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services




Oxford University Press




Doris Kopp Heim

Date Deposited:

19 Mar 2014 17:21

Last Modified:

08 Feb 2023 11:39

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Additional Information:

Swiss H. I. V. Cohort Study (Members from the Univ Bern: Egger M, Furrer H, Keiser O, Rauch A, Schöni-Affolter F)

Uncontrolled Keywords:

HIV-HCV coinfection genotypic resistance testing molecular epidemiology sexual transmission of HCV




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