Reinforcing the value of screening for hepatitis B during pregnancy
United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guideline update reaffirms that universal maternal testing and neonatal immunisation is effective against hepatitis B infection.
Testing for hepatitis B virus (HBV) early in pregnancy, administering the first dose of neonatal hepatitis B vaccine before discharge, and providing additional hepatitis B immunoglobulin prophylaxis to infants born to women who are chronic hepatitis B carriers has reduced the burden of hepatitis B infection in the U.S. by 90% while lowering rates of perinatal transmission to <1% in appropriately managed pregnancies.
Based on a review of recent data, the USPSTF has reaffirmed their 2009 recommendation to screen all pregnant women for HBV infection at the first prenatal visit.
Providing universal neonatal immunisation against HBV, a strategy now adopted throughout much of the world, remains a key approach to eliminating hepatitis B.