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Non-A hepatitis B virus genotypes in antenatal clinics, United Kingdom

Non-A hepatitis B virus genotypes in antenatal clinics, United Kingdom

Emerging Infectious Diseases 13(11): 1689-1693

In the United Kingdom, the National Screening Programme for identification of hepatitits B virus (HBV) infection in pregnant women uses HBV e antigen (HBeAg) and antibody to HBeAg (anti-HBe) as markers of infectivity to determine use of immunoglobulin for hepatitis B. Serum samples from 114 HBV-infected women were analyzed. Viral loads correlated with HBeAg/anti-HBe status and viral genotypes. Among 95 mothers whose serum contained anti-HBe, viral loads ranged between undetectable and 8.6 x 10(6) IU/mL (median 228 IU/mL). Ten (10.5%) of these mothers had plasma viral loads >10(4) IU/mL; 6 were infected with genotype E and one each with genotypes A, B, C, and D. All viruses had precore stop codon or basal core promoter mutations. Preponderance of genotypes other than A among antenatal mothers in the United Kingdom reflects increasing globalization and trends in immigration. HBeAg serostatus is no longer sufficiently accurate for inferring potential infectivity of pregnant HBV carriers.

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Accession: 054636109

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PMID: 18217552

DOI: 10.3201/eid1311.070578

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