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Arch Dis Child. 1985 October; 60(10): 972–974.
PMCID: PMC1777504

Should hepatitis B surface antigen positive mothers breast feed?


Breast fed infants may be at greater risk of mother to infant hepatitis B virus infection compared with formula fed infants. We studied 85 infants born to 84 hepatitis B surface antigen positive mothers (only two of whom were hepatitis B e positive), and who had received immunisation against hepatitis B virus. Our results indicate that breast feeding does not increase the risk of developing hepatitis B virus infection in infants born to these mothers if immunisation is carried out.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Beasley RP, Stevens CE, Shiao IS, Meng HC. Evidence against breast-feeding as a mechanism for vertical transmission of hepatitis B. Lancet. 1975 Oct 18;2(7938):740–741. [PubMed]
  • Lee AK, Ip HM, Wong VC. Mechanisms of maternal-fetal transmission of hepatitis B virus. J Infect Dis. 1978 Nov;138(5):668–671. [PubMed]
  • Beasley RP, Hwang LY. Postnatal infectivity of hepatitis B surface antigen-carrier mothers. J Infect Dis. 1983 Feb;147(2):185–190. [PubMed]
  • Wong VC, Ip HM, Reesink HW, Lelie PN, Reerink-Brongers EE, Yeung CY, Ma HK. Prevention of the HBsAg carrier state in newborn infants of mothers who are chronic carriers of HBsAg and HBeAg by administration of hepatitis-B vaccine and hepatitis-B immunoglobulin. Double-blind randomised placebo-controlled study. Lancet. 1984 Apr 28;1(8383):921–926. [PubMed]
  • Boxall EH. Letter: Breast-feeding and hepatitis B. Lancet. 1975 Nov 15;2(7942):979–979. [PubMed]
  • Krugman S. Letter: Vertical transmission of hepatitis B and breast-feeding. Lancet. 1975 Nov 8;2(7941):916–916. [PubMed]

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