Hepatitis B is an inflammatory liver disease caused by the hepatitis B
virus that results in liver cell damage and can lead to cirrhosis and an
increased risk of liver cancer. The hepatitis B virus is transmitted by contact
with the blood and/or body fluids of the infected person.
Perinatal hepatitis B is a hepatitis infection in an infant one month to 24 months of age born to a woman who has an acute or chronic hepatitis B infection. Without postexposure immunoprophylaxis 40% of infants born to Hepatitis B infected mothers will develop chronic Hepatitis B, and approximately 25 percent will die from chronic liver disease. Perinatal Hepatitis B transmission can be prevented if the infant is treated soon after birth with a dose of hepatitis B immune globulin and begins the hepatitis B vaccine series. Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Coordinator:
Roberta Butler, RN
Kentucky Immunization Program
Phone: (502) 564-3938
Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program
Established in 1991, the Kentucky Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program (PHBPP) provides case management for HBsAg-positive women seen by private and public health care providers. The goal of PHBPP is to identify HBsAg–positive mothers prenatally or at the time of delivery so that their infant, household and sexual contacts can be tested and treated to prevent the spread of the hepatitis B virus.
Prevention of perinatal transmission requires collaboration and communication between clients, laboratories, primary care providers, hospitals and the state and local health departments. The PHBPP ensures all:
- Pregnant persons are screened for HBsAg during each pregnancy between 26 and 28 weeks. All positive results are reported to the local health department in the county of residence within 24 hours and the results are sent to the delivering hospital with the prenatal record.
- Household and sexual contacts of HBsAg–positive pregnant women are identified, tested and immunized if susceptible.
- Infants of HBsAg-positive women receive the appropriate immunoprophylaxis including hepatitis B vaccine and hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) within 12 hours of birth.