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A Seroprevalence Study for Hepatitis B Virus Markers of Infection in Pregnant Women in Romania: Results and Opportunities for Prevention

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Odette Popovici1,2, Rodica Radu1, Angela Romaniuc1, Doina Azoicăi3

1) National Institute of Public Health (NIPH), Bucharest
2) PhD student, University of Medicine and Farmacy “Grigore T.Popa” Iasi,
3) PhD supervisor, University of Medicine and Farmacy “Grigore T.Popa” Iasi, Romania

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15403/jgld.2014.1121.272.hpb

Background & Aims: The Action Plan for viral hepatites in the WHO European Region aims to eliminate them as a public health threat by the end of 2030. The hepatitis B virus (HBV) perinatal transmission is a problem of major concern. The aim of our study was to estimate the prevalence of HBV markers in pregnant women in Romania, as scientific evidence for recommending public health interventions.
Methods. The serum samples were prospectively collected in randomly selected maternities, from pregnant women admitted for birth beginning with July 1st, 2016. Signed informed consent was requested and the confidentiality of personal data was assured. The laboratory investigations were performed in two regional public health laboratories.
Results. The prevalence of HBsAg was 5.1%. Among HBsAg positives, the HBeAg was present in 7.4% and the anti-HBeAb were detected in 55.6% of the pregnant women.
Conclusion.The results of the study were comparable to those in 2013 for the women of the same age group, which proves the need for established public health interventions leading to reducing, and halting HBV transmission in the population.
Key words: Hepatitis B − seroprevalence − pregnant − evidence-based public health interventions.
Abbreviations: CDC: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; HBIg: hepatitis B immune globulin; HBV: hepatitis B virus; HCV: hepatitis C virus; HCC: hepatocellular carcinoma; NIPH: National Institute of Public
Health: VE: Vaccine effectiveness.