Hepatitis B virus infection among HIV-infected pregnant women in Malawi and transmission to infants

Charles S. Chasela, Athena P. Kourtis, Patrick Wall, Jan Drobeniuc, Caroline C. King, Hong Thai, Eyasu H. Teshale, Mina Hosseinipour, Sascha Ellington, Mary B. Codd, Denise J. Jamieson, Rod Knight, Patricia Fitzpatrick, Saleem Kamili, Irving Hoffman, Dumbani Kayira, Noel Mumba, Deborah D. Kamwendo, Francis Martinson, William PowderlyChong Gee Teo, Charles Van Der Horst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background & Aims The extent of HBV infection to infants of HBV/HIV-coinfected pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa is unknown. The aim of this study was to assess prevalence of HBV infection among antiretroviral- naïve, HIV-infected pregnant women in Malawi and examine HBV transmission to their infants. Methods Plasma from 2048 HIV-infected, Malawian women and their infants were tested for markers of HBV infection. Study participants were provided standard-of-care health services, which included administration of pentavalent vaccine to infants at 6, 10, and 14 weeks of age. Results One-hundred and three women (5%) were HBsAg-positive; 70 of these HBsAg-positive women were also HBV-DNA-positive. Sixteen women (0.8%) were HBV-DNA-positive but HBsAg-negative. Five of 51 infants (9.8%) born to HBsAg-positive and/or HBV-DNA-positive women were HBV-DNA-positive by 48 weeks of age. HBV DNA concentrations of two infants of mothers who received extended lamivudine-containing anti-HIV prophylaxis were <4 log10 IU/ml compared to ≥8 log10 IU/ml in three infants of mothers who did not. Conclusions HBV DNA was detected in nearly 10% of infants born to HBV/HIV-coinfected women. Antenatal testing for HIV and HBV, if instituted, can facilitate implementation of prophylactic measures against infant infection by both viruses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-514
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014


  • Antiviral therapy
  • HIV
  • Hepatitis
  • Mother-to-child transmission
  • Sub-Saharan Africa


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