Enhancing interventions for prevention of mother-to-child- transmission of hepatitis B virus

JHEP Rep. 2023 Apr 24;5(8):100777. doi: 10.1016/j.jhepr.2023.100777. eCollection 2023 Aug.


Prevention of mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a cornerstone of efforts to support progress towards elimination of viral hepatitis. Current guidelines recommend maternal screening, antiviral therapy during the third trimester of high-risk pregnancies, universal and timely HBV birth dose vaccination, and post-exposure prophylaxis with hepatitis B immunoglobulin for selected neonates. However, serological and molecular diagnostic testing, treatment and HBV vaccination are not consistently deployed, particularly in many high endemicity settings, and models predict that global targets for reduction in paediatric incidence will not be met by 2030. In this article, we briefly summarise the evidence for current practice and use this as a basis to discuss areas in which prevention of mother-to-child transmission can potentially be enhanced. By reducing health inequities, enhancing pragmatic use of resources, filling data gaps, developing advocacy and education, and seeking consistent investment from multilateral agencies, significant advances can be made to further reduce vertical transmission events, with wide health, societal and economic benefits.

Keywords: HBIG; HBV; PMTCT; birth dose; elimination; hepatitis B virus; prevention; tenofovir; transmission; vaccination; vertical transmission.

Publication types

  • Review