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title:Sero-Prevalence of Hepatitis B Amongst Pregnant Women Attending the Antenatal Clinic of a Tertiary Care Hospital, Jamnagar (Gujarat)

Author:Khakhkhar Vipul M, Bhuva Pragnesh J, Bhuva Shashwati P, Patel Chirag P, Cholera Meera S

Keywords:Hepatitis B, Pregnant women, Jaundice, HBs Ag, RPHA, HBe Ag, anti-HBe-IgM Ab

Type:Original Article

Abstract:Background: Majority of the transmission of Hepatitis B in India and other developing countries occurs by vertical transmission from an infected carrier mother to the neonate, intrapartum or antenatally. Up to 90% of babies born to carrier mothers may also become carriers and they are at a very high risk of developing chronic liver disease at a younger age. Aims & Objectives: Present study was done to know the determination of sero-markers of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBs Ag) amongst pregnant women. Further, to find prevalence of HBe Ag and Anti HBe-IgM Ab amongst HBs Ag positive pregnant women. Methods: A retrospective study was done based on review of records of pregnant women. Blood samples were collected from 2050 pregnant women with age ranging from 16-40 years during the January 2001 to December 2003. Screening of HBs Ag was done by RPHA method and positive HBs Ag tests were confirmed by ELISA. The positive samples were then further tested for HBe Ag and Anti-HBe-IgM Ab. Results: Amongst, 2050 pregnant women, 63 (3.07%) were positive by RPHA and ELISA. Statistically significant association was not found for age group (?2=8.05, P>0.05), history of disease (?2=6.56, P>0.05) and trimester of pregnancy (?2=1.66, P>0.05) with HBs Ag positivity in pregnant women. Though, highest HBs Ag positivity was found with age group of 21-25 year (4.20%), history of Jaundice (13.95%) and third trimester of pregnancy (3.56%). Significant statistical association was found between HBs Ag positive carriers 63, with HBe Ag positive 11 (17.46%) and Anti-HBe IgM Ab positive 18 (28.57%) samples (?2=128.14, P<0.001). Conclusion: Screening of pregnant women for HBs Ag is necessary in order to identify those neonates at risk of transmission. Amongst HBs Ag positives, the test for HBe Ag and Anti HBe IgM Ab was significantly high, which suggests high chances of carrier state. The practical preventive measure against vertical transmission to neonates is immunization of the newborns for HBV.

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