1887

n South African Medical Journal - Hepatitis B and HIV co-infection in pregnant women : indication for routine antenatal hepatitis B virus screening in a high HIV prevalence setting : research

USD

 

Abstract

Sub-Saharan Africa is endemic for hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections. HBV/HIV co-infection in women of reproductive age is of clinical and public health importance because these women constitute a significant reservoir for horizontal and perinatal HBV transmission. Childhood HBV vaccination from 6 weeks of age protects most children against chronic HBV infection. However, infants born to HBV/HIV co-infected women are more likely to be infected perinatally, with an increased risk of chronic hepatitis, than infants born to HBV mono-infected women.


The aim of our study was to establish the prevalence of HBV infection and HBV/HIV co-infection in pregnant women in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, to inform antenatal HBV screening and childhood immunisation policies in South Africa.
Stored plasma specimens obtained from 570 pregnant women were tested for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and HBV infectivity, as characterised by the presence of hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) and/or HBV DNA load.
The antenatal HIV prevalence and HBsAg prevalence in this study were 41.6% and 5.3% (95% confidence interval (CI) 3.4 - 7.1), respectively. Overall, 3.1% (95% CI 1.7 - 4.6) of pregnant women were HBV/HIV co-infected, with HBeAg positivity and the HBV DNA load being significantly higher in co-infected women.
We report a 5.3% HBV prevalence and a 3.1% HBV/HIV co-infection prevalence in pregnant women from this HIV-endemic region. Routine antenatal HBV screening will allow early identification of neonates who require HBV active-passive immunoprophylaxis at birth. This strategy, together with antenatal antiretrovirals, will reduce the risk of perinatal HBV transmission, especially in high-risk HBV/HIV co-infected pregnant women.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/m_samj/104/4/EJC151204
2014-04-01
2016-12-04
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error