Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Infectious Diseases and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Gaps in the prevention of perinatal transmission of hepatitis B virus between recommendations and routine practices in a highly endemic region: a provincial population-based study in China

Yali Hu14, Shu Zhang1, Chao Luo1, Qilan Liu2 and Yi-Hua Zhou34*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing, China

2 Jiangsu Family Planning Institute, Nanjing, China

3 Departments of Laboratory Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Nanjing Drum Tower Hospital, Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing, China

4 Jiangsu Key Laboratory for Molecular Medicine, Nanjing University Medical School, Nanjing, China

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Infectious Diseases 2012, 12:221  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-221

Published: 17 September 2012

Abstract

Background

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is endemic in China; perinatal transmission is the main source of chronic HBV infection. Simultaneous administration of hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) and hepatitis B vaccine is highly effective to prevent perinatal transmission of HBV; however, the effectiveness also depends on full adherence to the recommended protocols in daily practice. In the present investigation, we aimed to identify gaps in immunoprophylaxis of perinatal transmission of HBV between recommendations and routine practices in Jiangsu Province, China.

Methods

Totally 626 children from 6 cities and 8 rural areas across Jiangsu Province, China, born from February 2003 to December 2004, were enrolled; 298 were born to mothers with positive hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and 328 were born to HBsAg-negative mothers. Immunoprophylactic measures against hepatitis B were retrospectively reviewed for about half of the children by checking medical records or vaccination cards and the vaccine status was validated for most of children.

Results

Of 298 children born to HBV carrier mothers, 11 (3.7%) were HBsAg positive, while none of 328 children born to non-carrier mothers was HBsAg positive (P < 0.01). The rates of anti-HBs ≥ 10 mIU/ml in children of carrier and non-carrier mothers were 69.5% and 69.2% respectively (P = 0.95). The hepatitis B vaccine coverage in two groups was 100% and 99.4% respectively (P = 0.50), but 15.1% of HBV-exposed infants did not receive the timely birth dose. Prenatal HBsAg screening was performed only in 156 (52.3%) of the carrier mothers. Consequently, only 112 (37.6%) of HBV-exposed infants received HBIG after birth. Furthermore, of the 11 HBV-infected children, only one received both HBIG and hepatitis B vaccine timely, seven missed HBIG, two received delayed vaccination, and one missed HBIG and received delayed vaccination.

Conclusions

There are substantial gaps in the prevention of perinatal HBV infection between the recommendations and routine practices in China, which highlights the importance of full adherence to the recommendations to eliminate perinatal HBV infection in the endemic regions.

Keywords:
Hepatitis B virus; Perinatal infection; Immunoprophylaxis; Gaps