Seroprevalence of hepatitis B infection during pregnancy and risk of perinatal transmission

Manisha Dwivedi, Sri Prakash Misra, Vatsala Misra, Arvind Pandey, Sanjay Pant, Rita Singh, Manju Verma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Objectives: To investigate the seroprevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in pregnant women and possible risk factors for perinatal hepatitis B virus (HBV) transmission. Methods: Four thousand pregnant women were evaluated using history, examination, and test for serum HBsAg using commercial enzyme immunoassay kits. For HBsAg positive women, liver function tests and a test for hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) was done. HBV DNA analysis was done by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Results: Of 4,000 women studied, 37 (0.9%) tested positive for HBsAg. Of these 37 women, 6 (16%) presented with acute hepatitis and 31 (84%) were asymptomatic. The highest HBsAg positivity rate was seen in the age group of 21-25 years (1.15%) followed by 26-30 years (0.86%). Assessment of risk factors revealed history of tattooing in 29/37 (78.4%) women. HBeAg was positive in 21 of 37 (56.8%) women. Of the 16 HBeAg negative women, 5 were positive for HBV DNA and anti-HBe antibody, 6 had only anti-HBe antibody and 5 had neither HBV DNA nor anti-HBe. Vertical transmission was seen in 65% (13/20) of babies born to mothers who were positive for HBeAg and HBV DNA. In contrast, it was only 9.1% (1/11) for babies born to mothers who were negative for both HBeAg and HBV DNA. Of the 25 babies delivered vaginally, 15 (60%) developed vertical transmission. None of the four babies delivered by elective cesarean section had evidence of vertical transmission. Conclusions: Seroprevalence of HBsAg in antenatal women was found to be 0.9%. HBe-antigen and HBV DNA positivity was associated with a higher chance of vertical transmission

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-71
Number of pages6
JournalIndian Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2011


  • Diagnosis
  • HBeAg
  • HBsAg
  • Hepatitis B
  • Perinatal transmission
  • Prevalence
  • Virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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