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J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2014 Jan;27(2):182-6. doi: 10.3109/14767058.2013.806901. Epub 2013 Jun 20.

Breast feeding and immunoprophylaxis efficacy of mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B virus.

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Department of infectious diseases, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University , China .



This study was designed to explore if hepatitis B virus (HBV) may be transmitted via breast milk through mother-to-child transmission (MTCT), and assay the immunoprophylaxis efficacy after passive-active immunization.


From year 2008 to 2012, 67,720 pregnant women were screened and 1186 HBsAg-carrier mothers and their infants aged 8-12 months were followed in multi-centers of China, among whom HBV markers (HBsAg, HBsAb, HBeAg, HBeAb and HBcAb) and HBV-DNA were measured.


HBsAg positive rate of pregnant women was 6.7% (4533/67,720) and infants' immunoprophylaxis failure rate was 3.3% (39/1186). Immunoprophylaxis failure infants were all born to mothers of HBeAg positive and HBV-DNA >6 log10 copies/ml. Among infants of HBeAg positive mothers, HBV infection rate was 9.0% and HBsAg positive rate was 8.3% in breast-feeding group versus 9.2% in formula-feeding group, P=0.761. Occurrence of perinatal HBV infection was indicated in uterus or during delivery. Different feeding patterns had no effects on HBsAb conversion of infants with the implementation of immunization.


HBsAg prevalence rate of pregnant women enrolled was 6.7% and immunoprophylaxis failure rate of infants was 3.3%, while the infection rate reached 9.0% in infants of HBeAg positive mothers. Breast feeding did not increase the occurrence of HBV MTCT.

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