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Screening and Post-Natal Prophylaxis Reduce Mother-to-Child HBV Transmission

Prenatal screening of pregnant women for hepatitis B virus (HBV), followed by immune prophylaxis for infants using injected hepatitis B antibodies and the first dose of the HBV vaccine given soon after delivery, resulted in a low rate of vertical HBV transmission -- less than 1 per 100 births -- in a real-world study described in the May 27 advance edition of Annals of Internal Medicine.


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Mothers with Hepatitis B Can Safely Breastfeed

Women with chronic HBV infection can breastfeed with minimal risk of transmitting the virus to their babies if they use standard prophylactic therapy, according to a recent review.

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Many U.S. Babies Do Not Receive Recommended Therapy to Prevent Hepatitis B Infection

About 14% of babies born to mothers with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and about 20% born to women of unknown HBV status in the U.S. do not receive recommended vaccinations or other therapies to prevent them from acquiring the virus, according to a CDC analysis of practices at more than 200 hospitals described in the April 2010 issue of Pediatrics.

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Uninfected Infants Born to HIV Positive Mothers May Have Impaired Immune Function

Infants born to mothers with HIV appear to be more susceptible to certain bacterial infections even if they are not HIV-infected themselves, according to research from South Africa published in the February 9, 2011 Journal of the American Medical Association. HIV-exposed children get fewer antibodies from their mothers through the placenta during gestation, but they show robust responses to vaccination, indicating that their own immune function is not impaired.

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