The risk of vertical transmission of hepatitis B virus (HBV) increases as maternal HBV DNA increase, despite serovaccination to newborns.
Dr Pierre Sellier and colleagues from France evaluated all pregnant women in Lariboisiere Hospital, Paris, France, with HBV DNA of 5 log10 IU/ml.
The team were administered tenofovir from week 28 of pregnancy until delivery.
HBV DNA was measured at months 1, 2 of tenofovir and at delivery.
The newborns were serovaccinated, tested for hepatitis B surface antigen, hepatitis B core antibody (HBcAb)±HBV DNA, and hepatitis B surface antibody (HBsAb) when aged 9 months, and then 24 months.
|None of the 19 children aged 9 months or older was positive for hepatitis B surface antigen|
|European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
The researchers found that 31 women gave birth to 37 newborns.
Maternal HBV DNA at baseline was 8.23 log10 IU/ml and above in 12 pregnancies.
The research team observed that the mean HBV DNA was 4, 3, and 2 log10 IU/ml at months 1, 2 of tenofovir and at delivery, respectively.
The team followed up 27 newborns; none of the 19 children aged 9 months or older was positive for hepatitis B surface antigen when aged 9 months.
The research team observed that 14 children tested positive for HBcAb, and for HBsAb without HBV DNA.
The team noted that 4 of the 19 children showed HBsAb without HBcAb, the last being doubtful for HBcAb and HBsAb without HBV DNA.
The research team reported that 8 newborns aged less than 9 months were not tested.
Dr Sellier's team concludes, "Tenofovir from week 28 of pregnancy to highly viremic HBV women plus serovaccination to newborns could prevent chronic and past infection."