1Department of Infectious Diseases, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, No.169, Donghu Road, Wuchang District, 430071 Wuhan, Hubei Province, China; Department of Infection Control, Qingdao Municipal Hospital, Qingdao, China.
2Department of Infectious Diseases, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, No.169, Donghu Road, Wuchang District, 430071 Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
3Department of Medicine, Erie Family Health Center, Chicago, USA.
4Mother and Child Hospital, Wuxue , Huanggang, China.
5Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chongyang County, Xianning, China.
6Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Xiaonan District, Xiaogan, China.
7Mother and Child Hospital, Tongcheng County, Xianning, China.
8Mother and Child Hospital, Dangyang, Yichang, China.
9Mother and Child Hospital, Huanggang, China.
Combined immunization with hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) plus hepatitis B vaccine (HB vaccine) can effectively prevent perinatal transmission of hepatitis B virus (HBV). With the universal administration of HB vaccine, anti-HBs conferred by HB vaccine can be found increasingly in pregnant women, and maternal anti-HBs can be passed through the placenta. This study was designed to evaluate the effect of hepatitis B immunization on preventing mother-to-infant transmission of HBV and on the immune response of infants towards HB vaccine.
From 2008 to 2013, a prospective study was conducted in 15 centers in China. HBsAg-positive pregnant women and their infants aged 8-12 months who completed immunoprophylaxis were enrolled in the study and tested for HBV markers (HBsAg, anti-HBs, HBeAg, anti-HBe and anti-HBc). Antepartum administration of HBIG to HBsAg-positive women was based on individual preference. HBsAg-negative pregnant women and their infants of 7-24 months old who received HB vaccines series were enrolled and tests of their HBV markers were performed.
1202 HBsAg-positive mothers and their infants aged 8-12 months were studied and 40 infants were found to be HBsAg positive with the immunoprophylaxis failure rate of 3.3%. Infants with immunoprophylaxis failure were all born to HBeAg-positive mothers of HBV-DNA ≥6log10copies/ml. Among infants of HBeAg-positive mothers, immunoprophylaxis failure rate in vaccine plus HBIG group, 7.9% (29/367), was significantly lower than the vaccine-only group, 16.9% (11/65), p=0.021; there was no significant difference in the immunoprophylaxis failure rate whether or not antepartum HBIG was given to the pregnant woman, 10.3% (10/97) vs 9.0% (30/335), p=0.685. Anti-HBs positive rate was 56.3% (3883/6899) among HBsAg-negative pregnant women and anti-HBs positive rate was 94.2% in cord blood of anti-HBs-positive mothers. After completing the HB vaccine series, anti-HBs positive rate among infants with maternal anti-HBs titers of <10IU/L, 10-500IU/L and ≥500IU/L was 90.3% (168/186), 90.5% (219/242) and 80.2% (89/111) respectively, p=0.011. Median titers of anti-HBs (IU/L) among infants in the three groups was 344.2, 231.9 and 161.1 respectively, p=0.020.
HBIG plus HB vaccine can effectively prevent mother-to-infant transmission of HBV, but no HBV breakthrough infection was observed in infants born to HBeAg-negative mothers who received HB vaccine with or without HBIG after birth. Antepartum injection of HBIG has no effect on preventing HBV mother-to-infant transmission. High maternal titer of anti-HBs can transplacentally impair immune response of infants towards HB vaccine.