Send to

Choose Destination
Pathol Biol (Paris). 2002 Nov;50(9):568-75.

[Hepatitis viruses: mother to child transmission].

[Article in French]

Author information

Laboratoire de virologie, CHU Dupuytren, 87042, Limoges, France.


The infection by the hepatitis viruses, when appearing during the pregnancy, could result in damages for the infant. However, risks differ according to the implicated virus. Hepatitis B virus infection, for which prevalence varies according to areas, is injurious when the mother is chronic HBsAg carrier. Risk consists of neonate's contamination during the labour, and if contaminated, the neonate becomes a chronic carrier himself in 80 to 90% of cases. When the mother is positive for viral DNA in her serum, transmission rate is estimated at 90%. In the opposite, if the mother is negative for viral DNA in the serum, transmission rate is about 10 to 30%. HBsAg screening is obligatory in France during the sixth month of pregnancy: in case of positivity, serovaccination of the neonate is systematically carried out. Protection rate is 100% if the mother had a low viral load (<150 pg/ml) at the end of pregnancy, and weaker (about 70%) if the mother had a higher level of viral DNA. Transmission risk of hepatitis C virus (HCV) is much lesser, since it is about 5% for a woman who is positive for viral RNA at the end of her pregnancy, and at least 10% if the woman is moreover positive for the HIV. Risk is more important if the woman had an important plasmatic viral load (> 10(5) copies/ml) and if the duration between membrane rupture and delivery is long. Vaginal delivery and breast-feeding are not advised. Neonates from mothers who replicate the HCV at the end of pregnancy are serologically evaluated until 12-15 months of age, in order to determine their possible contamination.Delta virus transmission from mother to infant is exceptional and could be avoided by the HBV serovaccination of the new-born.Intra-utero transmission of hepatitis A virus is very rare, but perinatal transmission could occur. Materno-fetal transmission of hepatitis E virus has been reported, but the virus is essentially dangerous for the mother, resulting in a mortality rate of 15 to 25% if the acute infection occurs during the third trimester of the pregnancy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center