Occult hepatitis B virus infection in children born to HBsAg-positive mothers after neonatal passive-active immunoprophylaxis.

Citation:
Foaud, Hanan, Sahar Maklad, Faten Mahmoud, and Hanaa El-Karaksy. "Occult hepatitis B virus infection in children born to HBsAg-positive mothers after neonatal passive-active immunoprophylaxis." Infection 43, no. 3 (2015): 307-14.

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Occult hepatitis B virus infection (OBI) is a well-recognized clinical entity characterized by the detection of HBV DNA in serum and/or liver in the absence of detectable HBsAg. Diagnosis of OBI requires a sensitive HBV DNA assay.

AIM: We aimed at determining the frequency of OBI in infants, born to HBsAg-positive mothers, who received immunoprophylaxis at birth.

METHODS: Sixty-four infants and children, born to HBsAg-positive mothers, who received hepatitis B immunoglobulin and HBV vaccine within 48 h after birth, were tested for HBV serological profile and HBV DNA by real-time PCR at least 1 month after last dose of HBV vaccine and not before 6 months of age.

RESULTS: The median age of the studied infants and children was 8 months, ranging from 6 to 132 months; 54.7 % were females. HBV DNA was detected in 2 infants. One case had OBI; she was negative for HBsAg, anti-HBc total, HBeAg and was positive for anti-HBs (titer 267 mIU/mL) with low level of viremia (HBV DNA 1.13 x 10(3) IU/mL). Another infant showed immunoprophylaxis failure with positive HBsAg, anti-HBc total, HBeAg, negative anti-HBe and anti-HBs; HBV viral load was 1.7 × 10(8) IU/mL. Both mothers were HBsAg and HBeAg-positive.

CONCLUSION: OBI may occur in infants born to HBsAg-positive mothers despite the receipt of immunoprophylaxis. OBI was detected in a low frequency in the present study. Anti-HBs positivity does not exclude OBI.

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