Approximately 24,000 HBV-infected women give birth annually in the United States, which makes their offspring an important at-risk population. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that pregnant women be screened for HBV and that infants of HBV-positive mothers receive immunoprophylaxis.
Researchers studied health records for 4,446 infants born to 3,253 HBV-positive mothers between 1997 and 2010 to investigate the effectiveness of a contemporary immunoprophylaxis protocol administered in an integrated health services delivery organization. Adherence, follow-up testing, transmission rates, and maternal risk factors for transmission were evaluated. The researchers found that an organized program with high rates of prenatal screening, detection, and immunoprophylaxis with hepatitis B immunoglobin is effective at preventing perinatal transmission.