Passive-active immunoprophylaxis against mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of hepatitis B virus (HBV) recommends administer hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) and birth dose hepatitis B vaccine in infants within 12 or 24 hours after birth. With this protocol, MTCT of HBV still occurs in 5-10% infants of HBV-infected mothers with positive hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg).
The present study aimed to investigate whether earlier administration of HBIG and hepatitis B vaccine after birth can further increase the protection efficacy.
Totally, 1140 HBV-infected pregnant women were enrolled, and 982 infants (9 twins) of 973 mothers were finally followed up at 9.6 ± 1.9 months age. HBIG and birth dose vaccine were administered in newborn infants with a median 0.17 hour (0.02-1.0) after birth. The overall rate of MTCT was 0.9% (9/982), with none (0%) of 607 infants of HBeAg-negative mothers and 9 (2.4%) of 375 infants of HBeAg-positive mothers. All nine HBV-infected infants were born to mothers with HBV DNA >2.75×106 IU/ml. Maternal HBV DNA levels >1×106 IU/ml was an independent risk factor (OR = 10.627, 95% CI: 2.135-+∞) for immunoprophylaxis failure.
Earlier use (within one hour after birth) of HBIG and hepatitis B vaccine can provide better protection efficacy against MTCT of HBV.

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