Scientific article
Open access

Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B virus in antenatal care and maternity services, Mozambique

Published inBulletin of the World Health Organization, vol. 100, no. 1, p. 60-69
Publication date2022-01-01
First online date2021-12-02

Objective: To pilot an intervention on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in an antenatal care and maternity unit in Maputo, Mozambique, during 2017-2019.

Methods: We included HBV in the existing screening programme (for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and syphilis) for pregnant women at their first consultation, and followed mother-child dyads until 9 months after delivery. We referred women who tested positive for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) for further tests, including hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) and HBV viral load. According to the results, we proposed tenofovir for their own health or for PMTCT. We administered birth-dose HBV vaccine and assessed infant HBV status at 9 months.

Findings: Of 6775 screened women, 270 (4.0%) were HBsAg positive; in those for whom data were available, 24/265 (9.1%) were HBeAg positive and 14/267 (5.2%) had a viral load of > 200 000 IU/mL. Ninety-eight (36.3%) HBsAg-positive women were HIV coinfected, 97 of whom were receiving antiretroviral treatment with tenofovir. Among HIV-negative women, four had an indication for tenofovir treatment and four for tenofovir PMTCT. Of 217 exposed liveborn babies, 181 (83.4%) received birth-dose HBV vaccine, 160 (88.4%) of these < 24 hours after birth. At the 9-month follow-up, only one out of the 134 tested infants was HBV positive.

Conclusion: Our nurse-led intervention highlights the feasibility of integrating PMTCT of HBV into existing antenatal care departments, essential for the implementation of the triple elimination initiative. Universal birth-dose vaccination is key to achieving HBV elimination.

  • Female
  • Hepatitis B / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis B / prevention & control
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines
  • Hepatitis B virus
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Vertical / prevention & control
  • Mozambique / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / drug therapy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / prevention & control
  • Prenatal Care
Affiliation Not a UNIGE publication
Citation (ISO format)
LOAREC, Anne et al. Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B virus in antenatal care and maternity services, Mozambique. In: Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 2022, vol. 100, n° 1, p. 60–69. doi: 10.2471/BLT.20.281311
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal0042-9686

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