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1.  Perinatal hepatitis B prevention program in Shandong Province, China 
Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics  2014;10(9):2755-2760.
Post-exposure prophylaxis with hepatitis B vaccine (HepB) alone is highly effective in preventing perinatal hepatitis B virus (HBV) transmission and the World Health Organization recommends administering HepB to all infants within 24 h after delivery. Maternal screening for HBsAg and administration of hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) in addition to HepB for infants born to HBsAg-positive pregnant women can increase the effectiveness of post-exposure prophylaxis for perinatal HBV transmission. In Shangdong Province, China which has a high prevalence of chronic HBV infection, HepB birth dose and HBIG were integrated into the routine childhood immunization program in 2002 and July 2011 respectively. We assessed progress toward implementation of these measures. Hospital-based reporting demonstrated an increase in maternal screening from 70.7% to 96.9% from 2004–2012; HepB birth dose coverage (within 24 h) remained high (96.3–97.1%) during this period. For infants with known HBsAg-positive mothers, the coverage of HBIG increased from 85.0% (before July 2011) to 92.1% (after July 2011). However, HBIG coverage in western areas of Shandong Province remained at 81.1% among infants with known HBsAg-positive mothers. Preterm/low-birth-weight and illness after birth were the most commonly reported reasons for delay in the first dose of HepB to >24 h of birth. Additional education on the safety and immune protection from HepB and HBIG might help to correct delays in administering the HepB birth dose and low HBIG coverage in the western areas of the Shandong Province.
doi:10.4161/hv.29648
PMCID: PMC4977441  PMID: 25483482
Hepatitis B; perinatal transmission; prevention; China
2.  Effect of elective cesarean section on the risk of mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B virus 
Background
Many clinicians and hepatitis B virus (HBV)-infected pregnant women prefer elective caesarean section (ECS) to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HBV, since some studies found higher transmission of HBV in infants born by vaginal delivery (VD) than by cesarean section. However, other studies showed that ECS does not reduce the risk of being infected with HBV in infants. In this study, we aimed to clarify whether ECS may reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HBV.
Methods
Totally 546 children (1–7-year-old) born to 544 HBsAg-positive mothers from 15 cities and rural areas across Jiangsu Province, China, were enrolled. Of these children, 137 (2 pairs of twins) were born to HBeAg-positive mothers; 285 were delivered by ECS and 261 others by VD (one pair of twin in each group). HBV serologic markers were tested by enzyme or microparticle immunoassay.
Results
The maternal and gestational ages, maternal HBeAg-positive rates, and children’s ages, gender ratios, hepatitis B vaccine coverage and administrations of HBIG were comparable between ECS and VD groups (all p >0.05). The overall prevalence of HBsAg in the 546 children was 2.4%, with 2.5% (7/285) and 2.3% (6/261) in those born by ECS and VD respectively (p = 0.904). Further comparison of chronic HBV infection in the 137 children of HBeAg-positive mothers showed that the HBsAg-positive rates in ECS and VD groups were 10.3% (7/68) and 8.7% (6/69) respectively (p = 0.750), while the mothers had similar HBV DNA levels (2.38 × 106 vs. 2.35 × 106 IU/ml, p = 0.586). Additionally, the overall rate of anti-HBs ≥10 mIU/ml in the children was 71.6%, with 72.3% and 70.9% in those born by ECS and VD respectively (p = 0.717).
Conclusions
With the recommended immunoprophylaxis against hepatitis B, ECS does not reduce the risk of mother-to-child transmission of HBV. Therefore, ECS should not be used in HBsAg-positive pregnant women to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HBV.
doi:10.1186/1471-2393-13-119
PMCID: PMC3664615  PMID: 23706093
Hepatitis B virus; Mother-to-child transmission; Vaginal delivery; Caesarean section
3.  Active-passive Immunization Effectiveness Against Hepatitis B Virus in Children Born to HBsAg Positive Mothers in Amol, North of Iran 
Oman Medical Journal  2011;26(6):399-403.
Objectives
HBV infection is a contagious disease that may transmit vertically from mothers to their neonates or horizontally by blood products and body secretions. Over 50% of Iranian carriers have contracted the infection perinatally, making this the most likely route of transmission of HBV in Iran. This study assesses the serologic markers of HBV in children born to HBsAg positive mothers who received HBIG and 3 doses of HBV vaccine.
Methods
To evaluate the effectiveness of vaccination against HBV, a study was conducted on 95 Children, born to hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive mothers, who had received Hepatitis B Immune Globulin and HBV vaccines during 2004-2008. All children were tested for the presence of HBsAg, anti-HBs and anti-HB core antigen (anti-HBc).
Results
Among an estimated 30000 pregnant women during the five year study, about 130 (0.42%) were HBV carriers. Ninety-five children from these mothers were enrolled in this study. Only one child (1.1%) was HBsAg positive, while 88.4% of children were Anti-HBs Positive. Eleven children (11.6%) were exposed to HBV as shown by the presence of anti-HBc. A significant difference was observed between the children’s age and Anti-HBs (p=0.0001).
Conclusion
Passive-active immunoprophylaxis of high risk babies was highly efficacious in preventing perinatal transmission of the HBV carrier state. Also, evaluation of serologic markers in HBV infected people is important for designing the strategies for disease control.
doi:10.5001/omj.2011.103
PMCID: PMC3251203  PMID: 22253947
Children; HBsAg positive mothers; Hepatitis B Vaccine; Hepatitis B Immunoglobulin; Anti-HBc; Anti-HBs
4.  Efficacy of Neonatal HBV Vaccination on Liver Cancer and Other Liver Diseases over 30-Year Follow-up of the Qidong Hepatitis B Intervention Study: A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(12):e1001774.
In a 30-year follow-up of the Qidong Hepatitis B Intervention Study, Yawei Zhang and colleagues examine the effects of neonatal vaccination on liver diseases.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Background
Neonatal hepatitis B vaccination has been implemented worldwide to prevent hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections. Its long-term protective efficacy on primary liver cancer (PLC) and other liver diseases has not been fully examined.
Methods and Findings
The Qidong Hepatitis B Intervention Study, a population-based, cluster randomized, controlled trial between 1985 and 1990 in Qidong, China, included 39,292 newborns who were randomly assigned to the vaccination group in which 38,366 participants completed the HBV vaccination series and 34,441 newborns who were randomly assigned to the control group in which the participants received neither a vaccine nor a placebo. However, 23,368 (67.8%) participants in the control group received catch-up vaccination at age 10–14 years. By December 2013, a total of 3,895 (10.2%) in the vaccination group and 3,898 (11.3%) in the control group were lost to follow-up. Information on PLC incidence and liver disease mortality were collected through linkage of all remaining cohort members to a well-established population-based tumor registry until December 31, 2013. Two cross-sectional surveys on HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) seroprevalence were conducted in 1996–2000 and 2008–2012. The participation rates of the two surveys were 57.5% (21,770) and 50.7% (17,204) in the vaccination group and 36.3% (12,184) and 58.6% (17,395) in the control group, respectively. Using intention-to-treat analysis, we found that the incidence rate of PLC and the mortality rates of severe end-stage liver diseases and infant fulminant hepatitis were significantly lower in the vaccination group than the control group with efficacies of 84% (95% CI 23%–97%), 70% (95% CI 15%–89%), and 69% (95% CI 34%–85%), respectively. The estimated efficacy of catch-up vaccination on HBsAg seroprevalence in early adulthood was 21% (95% CI 10%–30%), substantially weaker than that of the neonatal vaccination (72%, 95% CI 68%–75%). Receiving a booster at age 10–14 years decreased HBsAg seroprevalence if participants were born to HBsAg-positive mothers (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.68, 95% CI 0.47–0.97). Limitations to consider in interpreting the study results include the small number of individuals with PLC, participants lost to follow-up, and the large proportion of participants who did not provide serum samples at follow-up.
Conclusions
Neonatal HBV vaccination was found to significantly decrease HBsAg seroprevalence in childhood through young adulthood and subsequently reduce the risk of PLC and other liver diseases in young adults in rural China. The findings underscore the importance of neonatal HBV vaccination. Our results also suggest that an adolescence booster should be considered in individuals born to HBsAg-positive mothers and who have completed the HBV neonatal vaccination series.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Hepatitis B is a life-threatening liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). HBV, which is transmitted through contact with the blood or other bodily fluids of an infected person, can cause both acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) liver infections. Acute infections rarely cause any symptoms and more than 90% of adults who become infected with HBV (usually through sexual intercourse with an infected partner or through the use of contaminated needles) are virus-free within 6 months. However, in sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia, and other regions where HBV infection is common, HBV is usually transmitted from mother to child at birth or between individuals during early childhood and, unfortunately, most infants who are infected with HBV during the first year of life and many children who are infected before the age of 6 years develop a chronic HBV infection. Such infections can cause liver cancer, liver cirrhosis (scarring of the liver), and other fatal liver diseases. In addition, HBV infection around the time of birth can cause infant fulminant hepatitis, a rare but frequently fatal condition.
Why Was This Study Done?
HBV infections kill about 780,000 people worldwide annually but can be prevented by neonatal vaccination—immunization against HBV at birth. A vaccine against HBV became available in 1982 and many countries now include HBV vaccination at birth followed by additional vaccine doses during early childhood in their national vaccination programs. But, although HBV vaccination has greatly reduced the rate of chronic HBV infection, the protective efficacy of neonatal HBV vaccination against liver diseases has not been fully examined. Here, the researchers investigate how well neonatal HBV vaccination protects against primary liver cancer and other liver diseases by undertaking a 30-year follow-up of the Qidong Hepatitis B intervention Study (QHBIS). This cluster randomized controlled trial of neonatal HBV vaccination was conducted between 1983 and 1990 in Qidong County, a rural area in China with a high incidence of HBV-related primary liver cancer and other liver diseases. A cluster randomized controlled trial compares outcomes in groups of people (towns in this study) chosen at random to receive an intervention or a control treatment (here, vaccination or no vaccination; this study design was ethically acceptable during the 1980s when HBV vaccination was unavailable in rural China but would be unethical nowadays).
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The QHBIS assigned nearly 80,000 newborns to receive either a full course of HBV vaccinations (the vaccination group) or no vaccination (the control group); two-thirds of the control group participants received a catch-up vaccination at age 10–14 years. The researchers obtained data on how many trial participants developed primary liver cancer or died from a liver disease during the follow-up period from a population-based tumor registry. They also obtained information on HBsAg seroprevalence—the presence of HBsAg (an HBV surface protein) in the blood of the participants, an indicator of current HBV infection—from surveys undertaken in1996–2000 and 2008–2012. The researchers estimate that the protective efficacy of vaccination was 84% for primary liver cancer (vaccination reduced the incidence of liver cancer by 84%), 70% for death from liver diseases, and 69% for the incidence of infant fulminant hepatitis. Overall, the efficacy of catch-up vaccination on HBsAg seroprevalence in early adulthood was weak compared with neonatal vaccination (21% versus 72%). Notably, receiving a booster vaccination at age 10–14 years decreased HBsAg seroprevalence among participants who were born to HBsAg-positive mothers.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The small number of cases of primary liver cancer and other liver diseases observed during the 30-year follow-up, the length of follow-up, and the availability of incomplete data on seroprevalence all limit the accuracy of these findings. Nevertheless, these findings indicate that neonatal HBV vaccination greatly reduced HBsAg seroprevalence (an indicator of current HBV infection) in childhood and young adulthood and subsequently reduced the risk of liver cancer and other liver diseases in young adults. These findings therefore support the importance of neonatal HBV vaccination. In addition, they suggest that booster vaccination during adolescence might consolidate the efficacy of neonatal vaccination among individuals who were born to HBsAg-positive mothers, a suggestion that needs to be confirmed in randomized controlled trials before booster vaccines are introduced into vaccination programs.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001774.
The World Health Organization provides a fact sheet about hepatitis B (available in several languages) and information about hepatitis B vaccination
The World Hepatitis Alliance (an international not-for-profit, non-governmental organization) provides information about viral hepatitis, including some personal stories about hepatitis B from Bangladesh, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Malawi
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information about hepatitis B
The not-for-profit British Liver Trust provides information about hepatitis B, including Hepatitis B: PATH B, an interactive educational resource designed to improve the lives of people living with chronic hepatitis B
MedlinePlus provides links to other resources about hepatitis B (in English and Spanish)
Information about the Qidong Hepatitis B intervention Study is available
Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention provides links about hepatitis B prevention in Chinese
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001774
PMCID: PMC4280122  PMID: 25549238
5.  Breastfeeding Is Not a Risk Factor for Mother-to-Child Transmission of Hepatitis B Virus 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e55303.
Background
Many clinicians do not encourage breastfeeding in hepatitis B virus (HBV) carriers, since HBV DNA can be detected in breast milk and breast lesions may increase exposure of infants to HBV. The aim of this study was to determine whether breastfeeding may add risk for perinatal HBV transmission.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Totally 546 children (1–7-year-old) of 544 HBV-infected mothers were investigated, with 397 breastfed and 149 formula-fed; 137 were born to HBeAg-positive mothers. All children had been vaccinated against hepatitis B but only 53.3% received hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG). The overall prevalence of HBsAg+, HBsAg−/anti-HBc+, and anti-HBs (≥10 mIU/ml) in children was 2.4%, 3.1%, and 71.6% respectively. The HBsAg prevalence in breast- and formula-fed children was 1.5% and 4.7% respectively (P = 0.063); the difference was likely due to the higher mothers' HBeAg-positive rate in formula-fed group (formula-fed 49.0% vs. breastfed 15.9%, P<0.001). Further logistic regression analyses showed that breastfeeding was not associated with the HBV infection in the children, adjusting for the effect of maternal HBeAg status and other factors different between the two groups.
Conclusions/Significance
Under the recommended prophylaxis, breastfeeding is not a risk factor for mother-to-child transmission of HBV. Therefore, clinicians should encourage HBV-infected mothers to breastfeed their infants.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0055303
PMCID: PMC3557270  PMID: 23383145
6.  Individualized management of pregnant women with high hepatitis B virus DNA levels 
World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG  2014;20(34):12056-12061.
Hepatitis B is a major health concern in the Asia-Pacific region, and is endemic in China, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection may cause hepatic cirrhosis and liver cancer. It is estimated that there are more than 350 million chronic HBV carriers worldwide, of whom approximately one quarter will die of chronic hepatitis B-related liver diseases. HBV is transmitted horizontally through blood and blood products or by sexual transmission, and vertically from mother to infant. Perinatal infection is the predominant mode of transmission in countries with a high prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) carriage, and perinatal transmission leads to high rates of chronic infection. Therefore, it is important to prevent the mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HBV. Research has shown that pregnant women with high HBV DNA levels have an increased risk of MTCT. However, most of the obstetrics guidelines do not make a distinction between pregnant women with high HBV DNA levels and those who are HBsAg positive only. This review addresses the management of pregnant women with high levels of HBV viremia, in terms of antiviral therapy, use of hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG), the combined application of hepatitis B vaccine and HBIG, choice of delivery mode and feeding practices.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v20.i34.12056
PMCID: PMC4161794  PMID: 25232243
Hepatitis B virus; Hepatitis B virus DNA; High level; Management; Pregnancy
7.  Limited benefit of hepatitis B immunoglobulin prophylaxis in children of hepatitis B e antigen-negative mothers 
Singapore Medical Journal  2016;57(10):566-569.
INTRODUCTION
In 2006, Singapore adopted the universal hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIg) policy. Since then, all infants of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive mothers receive HBIg, irrespective of maternal hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) status. However, the benefits of HBIg for infants of HBeAg-negative mothers are unclear. We compared the vertical transmission rates among children of HBeAg-negative mothers who were given HBIg versus a retrospective cohort who were not given HBIg, to determine its protective effect.
METHODS
This observational study involved pregnant HBsAg-positive women seen at National University Hospital, Singapore, between June 2009 and December 2013. If the infants of these mothers completed the recommended vaccination schedule, they were recruited into the study, along with their older siblings. Serological testing for the children was performed three months after completion of the last dose of vaccine, and hepatitis B virus (HBV) surface gene sequencing was carried out if HBV DNA was detected.
RESULTS
A total of 111 infants and 47 siblings were recruited. 2 (1.5%) children were found to have vertical transmission despite receiving HBIg, while no incidences of vertical transmission were found among the historical controls who did not receive HBIg (p = 1.00).
CONCLUSION
The overall effectiveness of the hepatitis B vaccination programme for children of HBsAg-positive mothers was high, regardless of HBIg administration. The addition of HBIg did not appear to confer additional benefits, in terms of vertical transmission rate, among infants born to HBeAg-negative mothers.
doi:10.11622/smedj.2015194
PMCID: PMC5075957  PMID: 26778725
hepatitis B chronic carrier mothers; hepatitis B surface gene mutations; vertical transmission
8.  Missed opportunities for prevention of perinatal transmission of hepatitis B: A retrospective cohort study 
Postexposure prophylaxis for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection has substantially reduced the rates of vertical transmission over the past 30 years. Trials conducted in high HBV-endemic areas have shown antiviral medication in the last trimester of pregnancy to be effective when maternal HBV DNA levels exceed 107 copies/mL. This study investigated maternal HBV carrier and perinatal transmission rates, and the impact of vaccination history using data gathered from a cohort in British Columbia over a two-year period.
BACKGROUND:
Perinatal transmission of hepatitis B virus (HBV) can occur despite postexposure prophylaxis (PEP). Recent literature suggests that antiviral treatment during pregnancy when maternal HBV DNA levels are elevated can further decrease vertical transmission. However, HBV DNA screening is not routinely performed antenatally.
OBJECTIVE:
To determine the rates of HBV prevalence and perinatal transmission in an antenatal cohort.
METHODS:
A retrospective review of public health records (December 2008 to December 2010) was performed for both mothers and newborns.
RESULTS:
A total of 725 mother-infant pairs were included. Of these, 574 of 715 (80%) women had antenatal hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) testing performed, and 127 of 574 (22%) were HBeAg positive (HBeAg+). Of babies born to hepatitis B surface antigen-positive (HBsAg+) mothers, only 573 of 725 (79%) received complete PEP. In addition, 172 of 725 (24%) infants did not receive post-PEP blood testing or were lost to follow-up. Of the 552 infants with results available, seven cases (1.3%) of mother-to-child HBV transmission were observed, six of which involved infants born to HBeAg+ women.
CONCLUSIONS:
Our findings suggest that routine HBeAg screening could identify a subset of mother-infant pairs among HBsAg+ pregnant women who are at higher risk for vertical HBV transmission. Determination of viral load in expectant HBeAg+ mothers may provide more precise insight into HBV transmission to their infants.
PMCID: PMC4234350  PMID: 25390612
Hepatitis B; Pregnancy; Vertical transmission
9.  Weight-Based Policy of Hepatitis B Vaccination in Very Low Birth Weight Infants in Taiwan: A Retrospective Cross-Sectional Study 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e92271.
Background
The current recommendation of giving the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine to very low birth weight (VLBW) infants at 30 days of chronologic age usually is not practical, because most VLBW infants are not medically stable at that age. We use an alternative body-weight-based protocol, and evaluate its efficacy in an endemic area under a universal immunization program.
Methods
The immunogenicity of the current hepatitis B vaccination strategy in 155 VLBW preterm infants was evaluated at age 2 to 13 years, with parental consent. All of the infants were born between 1995 and 2006, and received their first dose of hepatitis B vaccine when they reached 2,000–2,200 g, irrespective of chronological age. Hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) was given at birth to infants born to HBsAg(+)/HBeAg(+) mothers.
Results
All 155 of the recruited children were HBsAg and anti-HBc negative. The anti-HBs seropositivity rate (geometric mean titer) was 84.1% (146.5 mIU/mL) for children under 3 years, 73.5% (68.8 mIU/mL) for 4- to 7-year-olds, 27.7% (55.4 mIU/mL) for 8- to 11-year-olds and 20% (6.0 mIU/mL) for children ≥12 years of age. More than 90% of these children received the first vaccination after 30 days of age, half (51%) at 60 to 90 days, and 29 children (18.6%) after 90 days of age. Of the 26 infants born to HBsAg(+) mothers, 6/6 infants of HBeAg(+) mothers received HBIG at birth, and 12/20 infants of HBeAg(−) mothers received HBIG. None of the 26 infants became infected.
Conclusions
Delaying hepatitis B vaccinations in VLBW preterm infants until they reach a weight of 2,000 g, with the administration of HBIG at birth for infants of HBsAg(+) mothers provided adequate immunogenicity and protection in a highly endemic area. Weight-based policy of hepatitis B vaccination is an effective and practical alternative strategy for VLBW infants.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092271
PMCID: PMC3956928  PMID: 24638122
10.  Cellular immunity in children with successful immunoprophylactic treatment for mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B virus 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:103.
Background
The administration of hepatitis B immunoglobulin followed by hepatitis B vaccine can result in a protective efficacy of almost 90% in mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B virus (HBV). However, little is known about immunity against HBV infection in children after immunoprophylactic treatment. We tried to assess the association between T-cell responses and viremia in children after successful prophylactic treatment.
Methods
Thirteen children and their 8 HBV carrier mothers (8 families), who were positive for human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A24, were enrolled in this study. All of the 13 children received immunoprophylactic treatment and became negative for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) after birth. HBV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses were evaluated using IFNγ - enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot (ELISPOT) and major histocompatibility complex class I peptide pentamer assays. Serum HBV DNA was measured by real-time PCR.
Results
Significant HBV-specific T-cell responses were detected in 2 (15%) of the 13 children by ELISPOT. However, the frequency of HLA-A24-HBV-specific CTLs was very low in both HBV carrier mothers and children using pentamers. Of the 13 children, 4 (31%) were positive for serum HBV DNA. However, the levels of serum HBV DNA were 100 copies/ml or less. One of the 2 children in whom significant HBV-specific CTL responses were detectable was positive for serum HBV DNA.
Conclusions
HBV core and polymerase-specific T-cell responses were detected and a low-dose viremia was observed in children after successful immunoprophylaxis treatment. Although the presence of viremia was not related to HBV-specific T-cell responses, CTLs might play a role in the control of HBV infection in children born to HBsAg-positive mothers after immunoprophylactic treatment.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-103
PMCID: PMC2879245  PMID: 20423521
11.  Rare Detection of Occult Hepatitis B Virus Infection in Children of Mothers with Positive Hepatitis B Surface Antigen 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(11):e112803.
The prevalence of occult Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in children was considerably varied from 0.1–64% in different reports. In this study we aimed to investigate the prevalence of occult HBV infection among the children born to mothers with positive hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in Jiangsu, China. Serum samples were collected from 210 children of 207 mothers with positive HBsAg. HBV serological markers were detected by ELISA and HBV DNA was detected by nested PCR. Homology comparison of HBV sequences recovered from the child and mother was used to define the infection. Three children (1.43%) were positive for HBsAg, in whom the HBV pre S and S gene sequence in each child was identical to that in her mother. Of the 207 HBsAg-negative children, nine displayed HBV DNA positive by two nested PCR assays using primers derived from S and C genes. However, the sequence alignment showed that the sequences in each child were considerably different from those in his/her mother. Therefore, the sequences amplified from the children were very likely resultant from the cross-contaminations. Furthermore, the nine children with ‘positive HBV DNA’ were all negative for anti-HBc, and one had anti-HBs 3.42 mIU/ml and eight others had anti-HBs from 72 to >1000 mIU/ml, indicating that the nine children were less likely infected with HBV. Therefore, none of the 207 HBsAg-negative children of HBV-infected mothers was found to have occult HBV infection. We conclude that the prevalence of occult HBV infection in vaccinated children born to HBsAg positive mothers should be extremely low. We recommend that homology comparison of sequences recovered from the child and mother be used to define the occult HBV infection in children born to HBV infected mothers.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0112803
PMCID: PMC4226608  PMID: 25383543
12.  Efficacy of Post-Exposure Prophylaxis in Infants Born to HBsAg Positive Mothers in Iran; Is It Authentic? 
Iranian Journal of Pediatrics  2016;26(3):e5979.
Background
Hepatitis B infection is a universal concern. This infection can lead to chronic liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma. Neonates born to HBsAg-positive mothers are at high risk of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, especially for HBeAg-positive mothers or neonates who have not received hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIg) and HBV vaccines.
Objectives
The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of post-exposure prophylaxis in these infants to prevent infection.
Patients and Methods
Thirty-eight infants born to HBsAg-positive mothers between September 2006 and September 2013 were followed. The investigation evaluated whether the standard prevention protocol of neonatal HBV transmission including HBIg at birth and receiving three doses of vaccine at birth and 2 and 6 months of age was performed, followed by post-vaccination tests (evaluation of HBsAg and HBsAb titer at 9 to 18 months of age) to determine subsequent infection. HBsAb titer ≥ 10 was considered as criterion for effectiveness of the prophylaxis procedure. The acquired data were analyzed using SPSS software (Version 18). The results are reported in descriptive tabulations.
Results
Ninety seven percent (97%) of infants received HBIg at birth in the hospital. Generally, all of them received the first, second and third doses of vaccine at birth, 2 months, and 6 months after birth, respectively. Information for 35 mothers infected with HBV and 38 infants was available. The mean age of the mothers was 30.3 years. The results indicated that 20% of mothers were HBeAg positive. HBsAg was positive in one (2.6%) infant born to an HBeAg-positive mother. Around 94% of infants’ HBsAb titers were ≥ 10, and 5.8% were reported as non-responders.
Conclusions
The vertical transmission prevention program used in the study population in Tehran, which had an appropriate sample size, is effective. Additional doses of the vaccine can be useful in raising the effectiveness of immunoprophylaxis for infants at high risk of HBV infection. Also, emphasis must be set on post-vaccination testing.
doi:10.5812/ijp.5979
PMCID: PMC4992177  PMID: 27617077
Hepatitis B Virus (HBV); HBV Vertical Transmission Prevention; HBsAg; HBeAg; Hepatitis B Immunoglobulin (HBIG)
13.  Strategy for vaccination against hepatitis B in areas with high endemicity: focus on Korea. 
Gut  1996;38(Suppl 2):S63-S66.
Hepatitis B vaccination strategies may vary from country to country depending on hepatitis B virus (HBV) endemicity, predominant modes of infection, age of infection, and health care resources. In areas with high endemicity like Korea, transmission of virus from carrier mothers to infants during the perinatal period, and from other horizontal sources to infants and children, account for most cases of HBV infection. The consequences of HBV infection at an early age are serious, as more than 70% remain chronic carriers of the virus. These chronic carriers are the principal source of infection for other susceptible people, and are themselves at high risk of developing other serious diseases, such as chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Theoretically, therefore, routine infant immunisation supplemented with prenatal screening of pregnant women for HBsAg or HBeAg and mass immunisation of children is the appropriate strategy for control of hepatitis B in these countries. To prevent primary liver cancer associated with HBV infection, however, immunisation of adults at high risk would also be prudent. Mandatory vaccination of all neonates is recommended in highly endemic areas, together with hepatitis B immune globulin in babies born to HBsAg carrier mothers.
PMCID: PMC1398045  PMID: 8786058
14.  Effectiveness of prevention of mother-to-child transmission practice in three provinces of Southern China 
Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics  2015;11(8):2061-2067.
Vaccination in prevention mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of hepatitis B has been recommended since plasma-derived hepatitis B vaccines became available in China in 1986; however, less study evaluated practice effectiveness of PMTCT systematically. We conducted a prospective survey to evaluate the effectiveness of PMTCT practices in 3 provinces of southern China. We selected prefectures with low timely birth dose coverage in Yunnan, Guangxi, and Hunan provinces. Infants born to HBsAg positive mothers were evaluated at 7–12 months of age. We tested hepatitis B virus (HBV) surface antigen (HBsAg) and HBV e antigen (HBeAg) of mothers and tested HBsAg of infants born to HBsAg positive mothers using Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) at provincial CDC laboratories. We used logistic regression analysis to analyze the risk factors for HBV infection. Among 3,094 infants born to HBsAg positive mothers, 172 were positive for HBsAg (5.6%). HBeAg status of pregnant women, timely birth dose (TBD) of hepatitis B vaccine were major predictors for HBV infection of infants. PMTCT practices greatly reduced the prevalence of HBsAg among infants born to HBsAg positive mothers China. However, the effectiveness of strategies used in PMTCT varied. HBsAg screening for pregnant women, monitoring of infants born to HBsAg positive mother should be enhanced to evaluate the effectiveness of program.
doi:10.1080/21645515.2015.1023972
PMCID: PMC4635870  PMID: 26090956
effectiveness; hepatitis B; immunoprophylaxis; mother-to-child transmission; prevention
15.  Analysis of residual perinatal transmission of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and of genetic variants in human immunodeficiency virus and HBV co-infected women and their offspring 
Background
Despite implementation of universal infant hepatitis B (HB) vaccination, mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of hepatitis B virus (HBV) still occurs. Limited data are available on the residual MTCT of HBV in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-HBV co-infected women.
Objectives
We assessed the prevalence of HBV infection among HIV-infected pregnant women and the rate of residual MTCT of HBV from HIV-HBV co-infected women and analyzed the viral determinants in mothers and their HBV-infected children.
Study design
HIV-1 infected pregnant women enrolled in two nationwide perinatal HIV prevention trials in Thailand were screened for HB surface antigen (HBsAg) and tested for HBeAg and HBV DNA load. Infants born to HBsAg-positive women had HBsAg and HBV DNA tested at 4–6 months. HBV diversity within each HBV-infected mother-infant pair was analyzed by direct sequencing of amplified HBsAg-encoding gene and cloning of amplified products.
Results
Among 3,312 HIV-1 infected pregnant women, 245 (7.4%) were HBsAg-positive, of whom 125 were HBeAg-positive. Of 230 evaluable infants born to HBsAg-positive women, 11 (4.8%) were found HBsAg and HBV DNA positive at 4–6 months; 8 were born to HBeAg-positive mothers. HBV genetic analysis was performed in 9 mother-infant pairs and showed that 5 infants were infected with maternal HBV variants harboring mutations within the HBsAg “a” determinant, and four were infected with wild-type HBV present in highly viremic mothers.
Conclusions
HBV-MTCT still occurs when women have high HBV DNA load and/or are infected with HBV variants. Additional interventions targeting highly viremic women are thus needed to reduce further HBV-MTCT.
doi:10.1016/j.jcv.2013.06.025
PMCID: PMC3872003  PMID: 23916828
HBs antigen variants; Hepatitis B vaccine failure; HIV pregnant women; mother-to-child transmission; Thailand
16.  Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B virus: a phase III, placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized clinical trial to assess the efficacy and safety of a short course of tenofovir disoproxil fumarate in women with hepatitis B virus e-antigen 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2016;16:393.
Background
Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is complicated by cirrhosis and liver cancer. In Thailand, 6-7 % of adults are chronically infected with HBV. The risk of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HBV has been estimated to be about 12 % when mothers have a high hepatitis B viral load, even if infants receive passive-active prophylaxis with HBV immunoglobulin (HBIg) and initiate the hepatitis B vaccine series at birth. We designed a study to assess the efficacy and safety of a short course of maternal tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) among women with a marker of high viral load for the prevention of MTCT of HBV.
Methods
The study is a phase III, multicenter (17 sites in Thailand), placebo-controlled, double-blind, randomized 1:1, two-arm clinical trial of TDF 300 mg once daily versus placebo among pregnant women from 28 weeks’ gestation through 2-month post-partum. All infants receive HBIg at birth, and a hepatitis B (HB) vaccination series according to Thai guidelines: birth, and age 1, 2, 4 and 6 months. Participant women at study entry must be age ≥18 years, hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and e-antigen (HBeAg) positive, have alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level < 30 IU/L at screening (confirmed < 60 IU/L pre-entry), negative hepatitis C serology, creatinine clearance >50 mL/min, and no history of anti-HBV antiviral treatment.
The target sample size of 328 mother/infant pairs assumed 156 evaluable cases per arm to detect a ≥9 % difference in MTCT transmission (3 % experimental arm versus 12 % placebo arm) with 90 % power. Mothers and infants are followed until 12 months after delivery. The primary infant endpoint is detection of HBsAg, confirmed by detection of HBV DNA at six months of age. Secondary endpoints are maternal and infant adverse events, acute exacerbations of maternal hepatitis B disease (ALT >300 IU/L, defined as a “flare”) following discontinuation of study treatment, infant HBV infection status and growth up to 12 months of age.
Discussion
The results of this randomized trial will clarify the efficacy and safety of a short course of antiviral treatment to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HBV and inform international guidelines.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier NCT01745822.
doi:10.1186/s12879-016-1734-5
PMCID: PMC4977630  PMID: 27506549
Hepatitis B; Hepatitis B surface antigen; Hepatitis B e antigen; Pregnancy; Mother-to-child transmission; Thailand
17.  Chronic hepatitis B in pregnancy: unique challenges and opportunities 
Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) affects 350 million individuals worldwide. Perinatal transmission leads to high rates of chronic infection and complications, including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. It is important to recognize and appropriately treat CHB in pregnancy, thereby reducing the risk of neonatal transmission and HBV-associated morbidity and mortality. Screening for CHB is recommended in all pregnant mothers as is universal vaccination of infants with hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccine with or without hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG). This has resulted in a lower incidence of HBsAg seropositivity and HCC in regions where universal infant vaccination has been endorsed. Mode of delivery and breastfeeding do not appear to affect HBV transmission rates based on available data. Overall, CHB does not increase perinatal maternal-fetal mortality. Administration of oral antiviral therapy during the third trimester to HBsAg-positive mothers with HBV DNA≥7 log IU/mL may be useful in preventing breakthrough infection. Treatment may be considered earlier in pregnancy for persistently active liver disease shown by high ALT, HBV DNA levels and/or significant hepatic fibrosis. Lamivudine, tenofovir and telbivudine are safe and effective and are the agents of choice in pregnancy. However, further clinical studies are necessary to elucidate the role of antiviral therapy in the pregnant HBV carrier.
doi:10.3350/kjhep.2011.17.1.1
PMCID: PMC3304622  PMID: 21494071
Hepatitis B; Pregnancy; Prevention; Transmission; Antivirals
18.  The effects of telbivudine in late pregnancy to prevent intrauterine transmission of the hepatitis B virus: a systematic review and meta-analysis 
Virology Journal  2012;9:185.
Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection poses a serious public health problem in many parts of the world. Presently, even with proper joint immunoprophylaxis, approximately 10-15% of newborns from HBV carrier mothers suffer from HBV infection through intrauterine transmission. One of the risk factors is the level of maternal viraemia. Telbivudine is a synthetic thymidine nucleoside analogue with activity against HBV. A few studies have evaluated the efficacy of telbivudine in preventing intrauterine HBV infection during late pregnancy. So we conducted this meta-analysis to arrive at an evidence-based conclusion. We searched Medline/PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Web of Knowledge and China Biological Medicine Database from January 1990 to December 2011. Relative risks (RR) of the seropositivity rates for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and HBV DNA in newborns and infants were studied. Mean differences (MD) in maternal HBV DNA levels were reviewed. Finally two randomised controlled trials (RCTs) and four non-randomised controlled trials (NRCTs) were left for analysis which included 576 mothers in total, of whom 306 received telbivudine treatment and 270 did not receive any drug. All newborns received hepatitis B vaccine (HBVac) and hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) after birth. The seropositivity rate for HBsAg or HBV DNA was significantly lower in the telbivudine group, both at birth and at 6–12 months follow up. Meanwhile, maternal HBV DNA levels prior to delivery were significantly lower in the telbivudine group. In addition, the frequency of serum creatine kinase (CK) elevation was similar in the two groups. Our meta-analysis provides preliminary evidence that telbivudine application in late pregnancy is effective in the interruption of intrauterine HBV infection, with no significant adverse effects or complications. More high quality, well-designed, double-blinded, randomised controlled and large size clinical trials are needed for further investigation and more convincing results in the future.
doi:10.1186/1743-422X-9-185
PMCID: PMC3494585  PMID: 22947333
Hepatitis B virus; Telbivudine; Intrauterine transmission; Pregnanc
19.  Is mother-to-infant transmission the most important factor for persistent HBV infection? 
Of the infants born to hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive mothers globally, 42.1% who did not receive hepatitis B virus (HBV) passive-active immunoprophylaxis and 2.9% of infants who received the immunoprophylaxis acquired HBV infection perinatally. Moreover, perinatal infection occurred in 84.2% (18.8%–100%) and 8.7% (0.0–21.0%) of infants born to hepatitis B e-antigen (HBeAg)-positive mothers who did not and did receive immunoprophylaxis, respectively; by contrast, the infection rates were 6.7% (0.0–15.4%) and 0.4% (0.0–2.5%) for infants born to HBeAg-negative-carrier mothers, respectively. The chronicity rates of HBV infection acquired perinatally were 28.2% (17.4%–33.9%) in infants born to HBeAg-negative mothers and 64.5% (53.5%–100%) in infants born to HBeAg-positive mothers. HBV mother-to-child transmission was more frequent in East Asia relative to other areas. In addition to differences in the endemic HBV genotype, the interchange of allelic dominance in genetic polymorphisms in HLA class II and NF-κB between the Chinese and European populations may explain why chronic HBV infection frequently affects the Chinese. The risk of progressing into chronic infection was inversely related to the age of children at the time of horizontal transmission. To further diminish HBV chronic infection, it is necessary to enforce antiviral treatment after the 28th week of gestation for HBeAg-positive mothers and to improve the health habits of carrier mothers and household sanitary conditions.
doi:10.1038/emi.2015.30
PMCID: PMC4451268  PMID: 26060603
hepatitis B virus; mother-to-child transmission; chronic infection
20.  Prevalence of chronic hepatitis B virus infection before and after implementation of a hepatitis B vaccination program among children in Nepal 
Vaccine  2014;32(34):4304-4309.
Background
In Nepal, an estimated 2–4% of the population has chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. To combat this problem, from 2002–2004, a national three dose hepatitis B vaccination program was implemented to decrease infection rates among children. The program does not currently include a birth dose to prevent perinatal HBV transmission. In 2012, to assess the impact of the program, we conducted a serosurvey among children born before and after vaccine introduction.
Methods
In 2012, a cross-sectional nationally representative stratified cluster survey was conducted to estimate hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) prevalence among children born from 2006 to 2007 (post-vaccine cohort) and among children born from 2000 to 2002 (pre-vaccine cohort). Demographic data, as well as written and oral vaccination history were collected. All children were tested for HBsAg; mothers of HBsAg positive children were also tested. Furthermore, we evaluated the field sensitivity and specificity of the SD Bioline HBsAg rapid diagnostic test by comparing results with an enzyme immunoassay.
Results
Among 2181 post-vaccination cohort children with vaccination data by either card or recall, 86% (95% Confidence Interval [CI] 77–95%) received ≥3 hepatitis B vaccine doses. Of 1200 children born in the pre-vaccination cohort, 0.28% (95% CI 0.09–0.85%) were positive for HBsAg; of 2187 children born in the post-vaccination cohort, 0.13% (95% CI 0.04–0.39%) were positive for HBsAg (p=0.39). Of the 6 children who tested positive for HBsAg, 2 had mothers who were positive for HBsAg. Finally, we found the SD Bioline HBsAg rapid diagnostic test to have a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 100%.
Conclusions
This is the first nationally representative hepatitis B serosurvey conducted in Nepal. Overall, a low burden of chronic HBV infection was found in children born in both the pre and post-vaccination cohorts. Current vaccination strategies should be continued.
doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.06.027
PMCID: PMC4663719  PMID: 24951865
hepatitis B virus; Nepal; seroprevalence; vaccine
21.  The association between maternal hepatitis B e antigen status, as a proxy for perinatal transmission, and the risk of hepatitis B e antigenaemia in Gambian children 
BMC Public Health  2014;14:532.
Background
Early age at infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) increases the risk of chronic HBV infection. In addition early age at infection may further increase the risk of persistent viral replication beyond its effect on chronicity. The effects of perinatal and early postnatal transmission on the risk of prolonged hepatitis B e antigenaemia in children with chronic HBV infection are not well documented in Africa. We examine these associations using maternal HBV sero-status and the number of HBV-positive older siblings as proxy measures for perinatal and early postnatal transmission, respectively.
Methods
Hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive mothers were identified in six population-based HBV sero-surveys conducted in The Gambia between 1986 and 1990. For every HBeAg-positive mother, a hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive HBeAg-negative mother and HBsAg-negative mother were randomly selected from the population surveyed. These mothers and their family members were tested for HBV sero-markers in a subsequent survey conducted between 1991 and 1993.
Results
Thirty-eight HBeAg positive mothers and the same number of HBsAg-positive HBeAg-negative mothers and HBsAg-negative mothers participated in the study. Sixty-nine percent of their children also participated. There was a non-significant positive association between HBeAg prevalence in children and the number of HBeAg-positive older siblings (64.1%, 69.2% and 83.3% in children with 0, 1 and ≥2 HBeAg-positive older siblings, respectively). After adjusting for confounders, having an HBeAg-positive mother was a risk factor for HBeAg positivity in children carrying HBsAg (adjusted OR 4.5, 95% CI: 1.0-19.5, p = 0.04), whilst the number of HBeAg-positive older siblings was not.
Conclusions
Maternal HBeAg was associated with positive HBeAg in children with chronic HBV infection. This suggests that interrupting mother-to-infant transmission in sub-Saharan Africa might help reduce the burden of liver disease. A timely dose of HBV vaccine within 24 hours of birth, as recommended by WHO, should be implemented in sub-Saharan Africa.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-532
PMCID: PMC4066313  PMID: 24885392
Hepatitis B; Hepatitis B e antigens; Infectious disease transmission; Vertical; Age factors; Africa
22.  Cost-effectiveness of Augmenting Universal Hepatitis B Vaccination With Immunoglobin Treatment 
Pediatrics  2013;131(4):e1135-e1143.
OBJECTIVE:
To compare the cost-effectiveness of hepatitis B virus (HBV) control strategies combining universal vaccination with hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) treatment for neonates of carrier mothers.
METHODS:
Drawing on Taiwan's experience, we developed a decision-analytic model to estimate the clinical and economic outcomes for 4 strategies: (1) strategy V—universal vaccination; (2) strategy S—V plus screening for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and HBIG treatment for HBsAg-positive mothers' neonates; (3) strategy E—V plus screening for hepatitis B e-antigen (HBeAg), HBIG for HBeAg-positive mothers' neonates; (4) strategy S&E—V plus screening for HBsAg then HBeAg, HBIG for all HBeAg-positive, and some HBeAg-negative/HBsAg-positive mothers' neonates.
RESULTS:
Strategy S averted the most infections, followed by S&E, E, and V. In most cases, the more effective strategies were also more costly. The willingness-to-pay (WTP) above which strategy S was cost-effective rose as carrier rate declined and was <$4000 per infection averted for carrier rates >5%. The WTP below which strategy V was optimal also increased as carrier rate declined, from $1400 at 30% carrier rate to $3100 at 5% carrier rate. Strategies involving E were optimal for an intermediate range of WTP that narrowed as carrier rate declined.
CONCLUSIONS:
HBIG treatment for neonates of HBsAg carrier mothers is likely to be a cost-effective addition to universal vaccination, particularly in settings with adequate health care infrastructure. Targeting HBIG to neonates of higher risk HBeAg-positive mothers may be preferred where WTP is moderate. However, in very resource-limited settings, universal vaccination alone is optimal.
doi:10.1542/peds.2012-1262
PMCID: PMC4015450  PMID: 23530168
hepatitis B; carrier rate; vaccination; cost-effectiveness analysis; immunoglobulin
23.  Perinatal transmission of hepatitis B virus infection and vaccination in China. 
Gut  1996;38(Suppl 2):S37-S38.
Hepatitis B remains one of the most important infectious diseases in China. In 1980, an overall hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection rate of 42.6% was reported and a hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) carrier rate of 10.3%. HBsAg positivity among children under 1 year of age ranged from 5.1% in Beijing to 7% in Guangdong. A peak in carrier rate was observed in 7 to 14 year olds, reaching 24% in Guangdong. During the past decade, there has been no significant change in overall HBV carrier rates. However, in areas where hepatitis B vaccination for all neonates has been introduced, a decline in HBsAg positivity in lower age groups has been observed. Perinatal transmission is believed to account for 35-50% of carriers although horizontal transmission is also important, particularly within families. Infants born to HBeAg positive carrier mothers are at even greater risk of infection. HBV infection during childhood leads to an increased risk of serious longterm sequelae, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). It is hoped that universal childhood immunisation will allow control of HBV infections in China within a few generations.
PMCID: PMC1398041  PMID: 8786051
24.  Dynamic changes of HBV markers and HBV DNA load in infants born to HBsAg(+) mothers: can positivity of HBsAg or HBV DNA at birth be an indicator for HBV infection of infants? 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2013;13:524.
Background
Neither HBV DNA nor HBsAg positivity at birth is an accurate marker for HBV infection of infants. No data is available for continuous changes of HBV markers in newborns to HBsAg(+) mothers. This prospective, multi-centers study aims at observing the dynamic changes of HBV markers and exploring an early diagnostic marker for mother-infant infection.
Methods
One hundred forty-eight HBsAg(+) mothers and their newborns were enrolled after mothers signed the informed consent forms. Those infants were received combination immunoprophylaxis (hepatitis B immunoglobulin [HBIG] and hepatitis B vaccine) at birth, and then followed up to 12 months. Venous blood of the infants (0, 1, 7, and 12 months of age) was collected to test for HBV DNA and HBV markers.
Results
Of the 148 infants enrolled in our study, 41 and 24 infants were detected as HBsAg(+) and HBV DNA(+) at birth, respectively. Nine were diagnosed with HBV infection after 7 mo follow-up. Dynamic observation of the HBV markers showed that HBV DNA and HBsAg decreased gradually and eventually sero-converted to negativity in the non-infected infants, whereas in the infected infants, HBV DNA and HBsAg were persistently positive, or higher at the end of follow-up. At 1 mo, the infants with anti-HBs(+), despite positivity for HBsAg or HBV DNA at birth, were resolved after 12 mo follow-up, whereas all the nine infants with anti-HBs(−) were diagnosed with HBV infection. Anti-HBs(−) at 1 mo showed a higher positive likelihood ratio for HBV mother-infant infection than HBV DNA and/or HBsAg at birth.
Conclusions
Negativity for anti-HBs at 1 mo can be considered as a sensitive and early diagnostic indictor for HBV infection in the infants with positive HBV DNA and HBsAg at birth, especially for those infants with low levels of HBV DNA load and HBsAg titer.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-524
PMCID: PMC3829094  PMID: 24195671
25.  Hepatitis B in pregnancy 
Frontline Gastroenterology  2013;5(2):111-117.
Objective
Vertical transmission of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) is the commonest mode of infection and can be prevented with immunoprophylaxis of the infant and antiviral therapy in the mother. Our aim was to review a cohort of subjects with HBV in pregnancy to determine the prevalence of active disease or high HBV-DNA levels that required treatment to prevent transmission, and to review the management of mothers and infants.
Methods
A retrospective case-note review was conducted of all the HBV-infected pregnant women and their infants who attended the Newcastle obstetric services from 2007 to 2011.
Results
There were 113 pregnancies in 81 women (median age 28 years; 15% hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) positive) during 2007–11. 71% of mothers were first diagnosed with HBV during pregnancy. The mothers were born in 28 different countries. 69% of mothers had an HBV-DNA level less than 2000 IU/mL and 13% had HBV-DNA levels greater than 1.0×107 IU/mL so would be eligible for antiviral therapy to prevent transmission to the infant. 9% had active eAg-positive HBV and 3% had active eAg-negative HBV requiring treatment. All infants born to HBeAg-positive mothers received hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) appropriately and 76% of infants received a full HBV vaccination course. One infant born to an HBeAg-negative mother was hepatitis B surface antigen positive 1 year post-delivery.
Conclusions
One in six women had active HBV requiring treatment or high HBV-DNA levels that would benefit from antiviral treatment to reduce the transmission risk. HBIG was administered appropriately but completion of the vaccination course was suboptimal.
doi:10.1136/flgastro-2013-100361
PMCID: PMC3963528  PMID: 24683447
HEPATITIS B; ANTIVIRAL THERAPY; CHRONIC VIRAL HEPATITIS; LIVER DISEASE IN PREGNANCY

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