Hepatitis B treatment for mothers to protect infants

Hepatitis B treatment for mothers to protect infants

About 10-20 per cent of women with hepatitis B should consider anti-viral treatment during the last trimester of pregnancy to protect their infants from acquiring the infection.

Hepatitis B is the most common liver infection in the world and estimated to affect about 225,000 Australians.  It has the highest prevalence in African and Southeast Asian countries while high rates are found in southern parts of Eastern and Central Europe.

Dr Miriam Levy, head of gastroenterology and hepatology at Liverpool Hospital said mother to child transmission of hepatitis B was problematic in women with high levels of the virus despite vaccination for the infant at birth.

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