Pattern and interpretation of hepatitis B virus markers among pregnant women in North East Egypt
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Hepatitis B vaccination of newborns (HBV) and surveillance of pregnant women during antenatal care are complementary to prevent mother to child transmission (MTCT) of HBV infection.
The aim was to identify the prevalence and pattern of HBV infection in pregnant women born before and after implementing HBV vaccination of newborn in Egypt.
The study included 600 women attended antenatal clinic of the Suez Canal University Hospital, Ismailia, Egypt. All were inquired about risk factors of HBV infection, vaccination, and screened for hepatitis markers. HBsAg carriers were tested for HBeAg, HBeAb, ALT, and HBV DNA. Participants were divided into group 1 of 285 (47.5%) vaccinated women ≤ 25 years, and 315 (52.5%) non-vaccinated > 25 years.
The prevalence of HBcAg, HBsAg, and HBsAb were 18.3%, 5.0%, and 30.7%. Of the 110 women exposed to infection, 40 (36.4%) cleared infection, 30 (27.2%) were HBsAg carriers, and 40 (36.4%) showed isolated HBcAb. HBsAg carriers were HBeAg negative, HBeAb positive, and HBV-DNA positive and had high ALT. Group 1 had significantly higher frequency of vaccination-related immunity, lower frequency of isolated HBcAb, and susceptibles than group 2 (44.9%, 3.5%, and 38.6% vs. 4.1%, 9.5%, and 75.9% ). The prevalence of HBV exposure and chronic HBsAb carriers in both groups were close (4.9% and 16.5% for group 1 vs. 5.1% and 20% for group 2, p > 0.05).
Although the outcomes of HBV infection were favorable in vaccinated group, chronic HBV represents a potential risk for MTCT that necessitates screening during pregnancy in all public health care settings.
KeywordsHBV Vaccination Hepatitis markers Pregnancy Egypt
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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