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Telbivudine and Elective Cesarean Section Help Prevent Mother-to-child Hepatitis B Transmission

Treatment with the nucleoside analog telbivudine (Tyzeka) and birth by elective Cesarean section both reduced the likelihood of hepatitis B virus (HBV) transmission from mothers to infants during pregnancy and delivery, according to 2 separate studies presented at the recent American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases "Liver Meeting" (AASLD 2010) this week in Boston. Emergency Cesarean delivery, however, was associated with a trend toward increased transmission risk.

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Nearly 20% of New Hepatitis B Infections May Occur in Healthcare Settings

As many as 1 in 5 cases of acute hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in the U.S. may be attributable to exposure in healthcare settings, especially long-term care facilities, according to research presented last week at the 50th Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC 2010) in Boston.

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U.S. Hepatitis B Prevalence in the U.S. in the HBV Vaccine Era

The prevalence of past and present hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection fell by nearly 70% among children in a large household survey of U.S. residents a decade after the introduction of universal HBV vaccination, according to a report by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researchers published in the July 15, 2010 Journal of Infectious Diseases. Hepatitis B prevalence among adults remains high, however, varying considerably among racial/ethnic groups and much greater among foreign-born individuals.

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High HBV Viral Load and HBeAg Positive Status Increase Risk of Mother-to-child Hepatitis B Transmission Despite Vaccine

Women with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection who were hepatitis B "e" antigen (HBeAg) positive and had high HBV DNA viral load during pregnancy were more likely to transmit the virus to their infants, even though the babies received HBV prophylaxis, according to a Canadian study described in the June 11, 2010 advance online edition of the Journal of Viral Hepatitis.

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San Francisco Launches Hepatitis B Campaign to Raise Awareness in Asian Community

Coinciding with National Hepatitis B Awareness Month, San Francisco Hep B Free launched a new ad campaign this week to raise awareness about hepatitis B within the city's Asian communities, and to encourage testing and vaccination. The campaign includes print and television ads in several languages (including Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese) as well as information directed at English-speaking medical providers. Asian Americans have a high rate of hepatitis B -- an estimated 1 in 10 infected -- and San Francisco, with its large Asian population, has the nation's highest rate of liver cancer.

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