Prevention of the HBsAg carrier state in newborn infants of mothers who are chronic carriers of HBsAg and HBeAg by administration of hepatitis-B vaccine and hepatitis-B immunoglobulin. Double-blind randomised placebo-controlled study

Lancet. 1984 Apr 28;1(8383):921-6. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(84)92388-2.


Newborn infants of Chinese HBeAg-carrier mothers in Hong Kong were randomly assigned to one of four study groups. Group I was treated with 3 micrograms heat-inactivated hepatitis B (HB) vaccine at birth and at 1, 2, and 6 months thereafter, in conjunction with seven monthly HBIg injections; group II was treated according to the same vaccine schedule but received only one HBIg injection at birth; group III received only the vaccine, at months 0, 1, 2, and 6; and group IV received placebos for both vaccine and HBIg. The first set of injections was given within 1 h after birth. Comparisons were made in the 140 children who were at least six months old at the close of the trial (495 days). In all three treatment groups development of the persistent carrier state was significantly (p less than or equal to 0.0001) less frequent than in controls (2.9%, 6.8%, and 21.0% versus 73.2%). Although vaccination alone was significantly less protective than vaccination plus multiple HBIg injections (p = 0.03), the degree of protection was still remarkable. 12 months after the first set of injections 96-100% of the infants in the three treatment groups were anti-HBs positive; the geometric mean titres of anti-HBs in the three groups did not differ significantly. This indicates that even high doses of HBIg do not interfere with the anti-HBs response to the vaccine. Probable intra-uterine HB infections were observed in 3 infants. No serious side-effects were observed from the interventions, even in the babies with intra-uterine infections who had received HBIg and HB-vaccine at birth. To prevent development of the persistent HBsAg carrier state, and thereby the consequent chronic liver disease and/or primary carcinoma of the liver, HB vaccine and HBIg should be administered as soon as possible after birth to all newborn infants at risk of perinatal hepatitis B infection.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Carrier State / immunology
  • Carrier State / prevention & control*
  • China / ethnology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Hepatitis B / immunology
  • Hepatitis B / prevention & control*
  • Hepatitis B Antibodies / analysis
  • Hepatitis B Antigens / analysis*
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens / analysis
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines
  • Hepatitis B e Antigens / analysis
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Passive*
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange
  • Pregnancy
  • Random Allocation
  • Viral Vaccines / therapeutic use*


  • Hepatitis B Antibodies
  • Hepatitis B Antigens
  • Hepatitis B Surface Antigens
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines
  • Hepatitis B e Antigens
  • Viral Vaccines