Evaluation of screening for hepatitis B surface antigen during pregnancy in a population with a high prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen-positive/hepatitis B e a... Academic Article uri icon


  • Background. Universal hepatitis B vaccination in infancy was implemented in Israel in 1992. The program consists of active vaccination at birth and at 1 and 6 months of age, without hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) screening during pregnancy. Infants of HBsAg carrier mothers do not receive specific hepatitis B immunoglobulin in addition to vaccine at birth. The recently arrived Jewish immigrants from Ethiopia are the group with the highest rate of HBsAg carriage (∼ 10%) in Israel. Aim. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether the present policy is effective against perinatal HBV transmission from mothers of Ethiopian origin to their infants. Methods. The study group included 411 Israeli born children, offspring of mothers of Ethiopian origin. All infants were fully vaccinated starting at birth. Sera were collected from the children at the age of 9 to 36 months and from their mothers. Tests for …

publication date

  • March 1, 1999