Skip to main content

Relationship between the mechanism of hepatitis B virus father–infant transmission and pregnancy outcome



This study examined the relationship between the mechanism of hepatitis B virus (HBV) father–infant transmission via reproductive cells and pregnancy outcome.


Abandoned in vitro fertilization (IVF) embryos of fathers with chronic HBV infection were taken as study objects. HBV mRNA in embryos was detected, and successfully transplanted embryos were followed up to determine the relationship between HBV-infected embryos and pregnancy outcome.


HBV mRNA signals were detected in one embryo in the group with HBV-positive fathers; the positive rate was 1/18 (5.5%). IVF embryos of HBV-positive fathers with HBV mRNA signals were successfully implanted, but early abortion occurred.


HBV mRNA was found in abandoned IVF embryos of HBV-infected fathers, which confirmed that HBV could not only enter early cleavage embryos via sperm but also replicate in embryos, resulting in HBV father–infant transmission. HBV may interfere with embryonic development and thus affect pregnancy outcome.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2


  1. Trépo C, Chan HL, Lok A (2014) Hepatitis B virus infection. Lancet 384:2053–2063

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. WHO Guidelines Approved by the Guidelines Review Committee (2015) Guidelines for the prevention, care and treatment of persons with chronic hepatitis B infection

  3. Chinese Society of Hepatology and Chinese Society of Infectious Diseases, Chinese Medical Association (2011) The guideline of prevention and treatment for chronic hepatitis B (2010 version). Zhonghua Gan Zang Bing Za Zhi 19:13–24

    Google Scholar 

  4. Hadchouel M, Scotto J, Huret JL, Molinie C, Villa E, Degos F, Brechot C (1985) Presence of HBVDNA in spermatozoa: a possible vertical transmission of HBV via the germ line. J Med Virol 16:61–66

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Davison F, Alexander GJ, Trowbridge R, Fagan EA, Williams R (1987) Detection of hepatitis B virus DNA in spermatozoa, urine, saliva and leucocytes, of chronic HBsAg carriers. A lack of relationship with serum markers of replication. J Hepatol 4:37–44

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Naumova AK, Korenev VI, Leonov BV, Tsibinogin VV, Kiselev LL (1986) DNA of the hepatitis B virus in human generative cells. Genetika 22:166–168

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Huang JM, Huang TH, Qiu HY, Fang XW, Zhuang TG, Qiu JW (2002) Studies on the integration of hepatitis B virus DNA sequence in human sperm chromosomes. Asian J Androl 4:209–212

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Hu XL, Zhou XP, Qian YL, Wu GY, Ye YH, Zhu YM (2011) The presence and expression of the hepatitis B virus in human oocytes and embryos. Hum Reprod 26:1860–1867

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. Hayes CN, Akamatsu S, Tsuge M, Miki D, Akiyama R, Abe H, Ochi H, Hiraga N, Imamura M, Takahashi S, Aikata H, Kawaoka T, Kawakami Y, Ohishi W, Chayama K (2012) Hepatitis B virus-specific miRNAs and Argonaute2 play a role in the viral life cycle. PLoS One 7:e47490

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  10. Nakabayashi J (2016) The intracellular dynamics of hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication with reproduced virion “re-cycling”. J Theor Biol 396:154–162

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Oger P, Yazbeck C, Gervais A, Dorphin B, Gout C, Jacquesson L, Ayel JP, Kahn V, Rougier N (2011) Adverse effects of hepatitis B virus on sperm motility and fertilization ability during IVF. Reprod Biomed Online 23:207–212

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Chen JW, Cui Y, Zhang XX (2011) Investigate the impact of hepatitis B virus infection on sperm DNA integrity. Zhonghua Shi Yan He Lin Chuang Bing Du Xue Za Zhi 25:345–347

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Gao L, Liu YH, Li LF, Wu YM, Wang MB, Shi J, Yuan B, Song J, He YM, Wei DK (2009) Changes of peripheral blood chromosomal centromere aberration in patients with cytomegalovirus infection after anti-viral treatment. Nan Fang Yi Ke Da Xue Xue Bao 29:1846–1847

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Putland RA, Ford J, Korban G, Evdokiou A, Tremaine M (1990) Investigation of spontaneously aborted concepti for microbial DNA: investigation for cytomegalovirus DNA using polymerase chain reaction. Aust N Z J Obstet Gynaecol 30:248–250

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. Zhou XP, Hu XL, Zhu YM, Qu F, Sun SJ, Qian YL (2011) Comparison of semen quality and outcome of assisted reproductive techniques in Chinese men with and without hepatitis B. Asian J Androl 13:465–469

    Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  16. Hu Y, Chen X, Chen LL, Xu ZF, Wang X, Cui H (2006) Comparative genomic hybridization analysis of spontaneous abortion. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 92:52–57

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. Shi L, Liu S, Zhao W, Zhou H, Ren W, Shi J (2014) Hepatit is B virus infection reduces fertilization ability during in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer. J Med Virol 86:1099–1104

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. Lee VC, Ng EH, Yeung WS, Ho PC (2010) Impact of positive hepatitis B surface antigen on the outcome of IVF treatment. Reprod Biomed Online 21:712–717

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. Lorusso F, Palmisano M, Chironna M, Vacca M, Masciandaro P, Bassi E, Selvaggi Luigi L, Depalo R (2010) Impact of chronic viral diseases on semen parameters. Andrologia 42:121–126

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. Shih WL, Yu MW, Chen PJ, Yeh SH, Lo MT, Chang HC, Liaw YF, Lin SM, Liu CJ, Lee SD, Lin CL, Hsiao CK, Yang SY, Chen CJ (2006) Localization of a susceptibility locus for hepatocellular carcinoma to chromosome 4q in a hepatitis B hyperendemic area. Oncogene 25:3219–3224

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. Moretti E, Federico MG, Giannerini V, Collodel G (2008) Sperm ultrastructure and meiotic segregation in a group of patients with chronic hepatitis B and C. Andrologia 40:286–291

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. Vicari E, Arcoria D, Di Mauro C, Noto R, Noto Z, La Vignera S (2006) Sperm output in patients with primary infertility and hepatitis B or C virus; negative influence of HBV infection during concomitant varicocele. Minerva Med 97:65–77

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  23. Chen H, Ge HS, Lv JQ, Wu XM, Xi HT, Huang JY, Zhu CF (2014) Chronic hepatitis B virus infection in women is not associated with IVF/ICSI outcomes. Arch Gynecol Obstet 289:213–217

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references


This study was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 30371277).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Feng Ye or Shumei Lin.

Ethics declarations

Ethical approval

This study was conducted in accordance with the declaration of Helsinki. This study was conducted with approval from the Ethics Committee of The First Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Jiaotong University. Written informed consent was obtained from all participants.

Conflict of interest

We declare that we have no conflict of interest.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Kong, Y., Liu, Y., Liu, X. et al. Relationship between the mechanism of hepatitis B virus father–infant transmission and pregnancy outcome. Arch Gynecol Obstet 295, 253–257 (2017).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • HBV
  • Father–infant vertical transmission
  • Pregnancy outcome