Outcome of perinatal hepatitis b virus exposure is dependent on maternal virus load

Robert D. Burk, Lu Yu Hwang, Gloria Y.F. Ho, David A. Shafritz, R. Palmer Beasley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

159 Scopus citations


To evaluate the role of maternal hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA levels in perinatal infection, two nested case-control studies were done within a cohort of 773 hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive Taiwanese women and their infants. As serum HBV DNA levels increased from < 0.005 to ≤ 1.4 ng/mL among the hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive mothers, the odds ratio (OR) for having a persistently infected infant increased from 1.0 to 147.0 (P for trend <.001). Among HBeAg-negative mothers, the OR for having a persistently infected infant was 19.2 (95% confidence interval, 2.3-176.6) in mothers with high versus low levels of serum HBV DNA. A logistic regression analysis identified maternal HBV DNA to be a stronger independent predictor of persistent infection than HBeAg status. Thus, perinatal exposure to high levels of maternal HBV DNA is the most important determinant of infection outcome in the infant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1418-1423
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1994


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases

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