Hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive and HBsAg-negative hepatitis B virus infection among mother-teenager pairs 13 years after neonatal hepatitis B virus vaccination.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Clinical and vaccine immunology : CVI, 2013, 20 (2), pp. 269 - 275
Issue Date:
2013-02
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It is unclear whether a mother who is negative for hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg) but positive for hepatitis B virus (HBV) is at potential risk for mother-to-child transmission of HBV. This study, using a paired mother-teenager population, aimed to assess whether maternal HBsAg-negative HBV infection ((hn)HBI) is a significant source of child HBV infection (HBI). A follow-up study with blood collection has been conducted on the 93 mother-teenager pairs from the initial 135 pregnant woman-newborn pairs 13 years after neonatal HBV vaccination. Serological and viral markers of HBV have been tested, and phylogenetic analysis of HBV isolates has been done. The HBI prevalence was 1.9% (1 (hn)HBI/53) for teenage children of non-HBI mothers, compared with 16.7% (1 (hn)HBI/6) for those of (hn)HBI mothers and 2.9% (1 HBsAg-positive HBV infection [(hp)HBI]/34) for those of (hp)HBI mothers. Similar viral sequences have been found in one pair of whom both the mother and teenager have had (hn)HBI. In comparison with the (hp)HBI cases, those with (hn)HBI had a lower level of HBV load and a higher proportion of genotype-C strains, which were accompanied by differentiated mutations (Q129R, K141E, and Y161N) of the "a" determinant of the HBV surface gene. Our findings suggest that mother-to-teenager transmission of (hn)HBI can occur among those in the neonatal HBV vaccination program.
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