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Type Journal Article - International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics
Title Pattern of hepatitis virus infection among pregnant women and their newborns at the Women's Health Center of Assiut University, Upper Egypt
Volume 111
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
Page numbers 171-174
URL http://www.popline.org/node/576849
Objective: To determine the prevalence, risk factors, and rate of vertical transmission of HBV and/or HCV infection among pregnant women in Upper Egypt, and assess the preventive ef?cacy of administering
hepatitis B immunoglobulin and vaccine to newborns on their carrier status at 8 months. Methods: Five hundred pregnant women were screened for HCV and HBV serum markers by enzyme-linked immunoassay. Those testing positive had their status con?rmed by polymerase chain reaction and their levels of liver enzymes and interferon gamma were evaluated. The newborns of HBV-positive women received hepatitis B immunoglobulin and vaccine and were followed up to assess the rates of vertical transmission and carrier status among the newborns. Results: Of the 500 pregnant women, 6.4% were HCV positive, 4.0% were HBV positive, and 1.0% were both. The vertical transmission rate was 3.1% for HCV, 30.0% for HBV, and 20.0% for a combined infection. The carrier rate of the infants at the end of their eighth month was 10.8% for those with HCV and 8% for those with HBV. Conclusion: Infection with HBV and/or HCV is highly prevalent among pregnant women in Upper Egypt. The rate of vertical transmission was also high. Administering hepatitis B vaccine and immunoglobulin resulted in a 92% reduction in carrier status among newborns.

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