Saturday, 12 January 2013

Immunoprophylaxis cuts hepatitis B rates in pregnant women and babies B

There has been a decline in the hepatitis B  among pregnant women and their infants in China, which might be attributed to universal
immunoprophylaxis since 1990, a Shenyang study suggests.

A study of 4,536 pregnant women by researchers at the Department of Infectious Diseases, Shengjing Hospital of China Medical
University, found that the prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen  positivity was 5.5%, which was lower than the 8% rate seen nationally.
Rates of hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc) and hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs) were 29.7% and 58.6%, respectively.
The study authors says that there are more than 130 million chronic HBV carriers in China, 30%-50% of whom are thought to have acquired HBV infection from mother-to-child transmission. Even though immunoprophylaxis with hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) and hepatitis B vaccine is administrated to neonates whose mothers are hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positive, about 10% of the neonates suffer from HBV infection in their early life.
They say the differences in prevalence of HBsAg, anti-HBc and anti-HBs between pregnant women older than 20 years versus younger than 20 years of age
were significant. This could be related to immunoprophylaxis having been universally administered to infants since 1990, which could improve immunity against HBV and
decrease HBV infection among their infants.
Source: Virology Journal

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