Monday, 19 November 2012

Missed or delayed hepatitis B vaccination explains mother to baby transmission


The rate of mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B virus (HBV) is still high in the northwest of China, because vaccination of the newborn is often delayed.
A study carried out in rural Gansu found that the delayed injection of the first dose of HBV vaccine after premature birth was a possible independent risk factor for HBV mother-to-child transmission. Therefore, HBV prevention and treatment guidelines should make it clear that all of the new born infants need to receive HBV vaccine injection after birth in 24 h, including premature infants.
Researchers from the Department of Epidemiology, Fourth Military Medical University, Xi’an, aimed to evaluate the  possible risk factors of HBV transmission after the implementation of the routine immunization among children exposed to HBV infected mothers in a developing area in northwest China.
Two hundred and twenty one HBsAg carrier mothers and 247 children born to them were finally recruited in Wuwei city, Gangsu province, China in 2010.
Of the 247 children born to HBsAg carrier mothers, 3.24% were HBsAg positive and 6% were HBV DNA positive. The rate of HBV mother-to-child transmission was 7.3% . Maternal HBV DNA positivity was linked to a five-fold higher risk for HBV mother-to-child transmission while the delayed injection of the first dose of HBV vaccine after premature birth increased risk almost ten fold.
The rate of HBV infection of the children who received HBV vaccine and immunoglobulin together after birth (2.56%) was lower than those children received HBV vaccine alone (11.4%).
The researchers conclude that the rate of mother-to-child transmission of HBV is still high in the northwest of China.
"Besides the positivity of maternal HBV DNA and the missing of HBV vaccination after birth, the delayed injection of the first dose of HBV vaccine after premature birth was also a possible independent risk factor for HBV mother-to-child transmission. Therefore, HBV prevention and treatment guidelines should make it clear that all of the new born infants need to receive HBV vaccine injection after birth in 24 h, including the premature infants."

Read more: Vaccine

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