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Frontiers of Medicine >> 2020, Volume 14, Issue 1 doi: 10.1007/s11684-020-0744-2

Eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HBV: progress and challenges in China

Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, Peking University, Beijing 100191, China

Accepted: 2020-01-20 Available online:2020-01-20

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China has the world’s largest burden of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, but the country has made considerable progress in preventing its mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) in the past three decades. This feat is made possible due to the high coverage of birth-dose hepatitis B vaccine (HepB,>95%), hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) screening for pregnant women (>99%), and hepatitis B immunoglobulin plus HepB for newborns whose mothers are HBsAg positive (>99%). Studies on the optimal antiviral treatment regimen for pregnant women with high HBV-DNA load have also been conducted. However, China still faces challenges in eliminating MTCT of HBV. The overall HBsAg prevalence among pregnant women is considered an intermediate endemic. The prevalence of HBsAg among pregnant women from remote, rural, or ethnic minority areas is higher than that of the national level because of limited health resources and public health education for HBV. The coverage for maternal and child healthcare and immunization services should be improved, especially in western regions. Integration of current services to prevent MTCT of HBV with other relevant health services can increase the acceptability, efficiency, and coverage of these services, particularly in remote areas and ethnic minority areas. By doing so, progress toward key milestones and targets to eliminate hepatitis B as the main public health threat by 2030 can be achieved.

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