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
Original Article



To investigate the seroprevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in pregnant women and possible risk factors for perinatal hepatitis B virus (HBV) transmission.


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).


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.


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


Diagnosis HBeAg HBsAg HBV DNA Hepatitis B Perinatal transmission Prevalence Virus 


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Copyright information

© Indian Society of Gastroenterology 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manisha Dwivedi
    • 1
  • Sri Prakash Misra
    • 1
  • Vatsala Misra
    • 2
  • Arvind Pandey
    • 4
  • Sanjay Pant
    • 1
  • Rita Singh
    • 3
  • Manju Verma
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of GastroenterologyMoti Lal Nehru Medical CollegeAllahabadIndia
  2. 2.Department of PathologyMoti Lal Nehru Medical CollegeAllahabadIndia
  3. 3.Department of GynecologyMoti Lal Nehru Medical CollegeAllahabadIndia
  4. 4.Center for BiotechnologyUniversity of AllahabadAllahabadIndia

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