Hepatitis B is an infection caused by the hepatitis B virus and occurs worldwide. For infants and children, the two main sources of the infection are transmission from an infected mother or living in an infected household. Perinatal transmission is common in highly endemic areas. Hepatitis B vaccines are available and require a series of three doses over six months. The most common side effects are pain at the vaccination site and mild to moderate fever. Maternal hepatitis B vaccine immunization may be a way of preventing hepatitis B infection in infants before hepatitis B vaccine can be administered and provide protection to the infant. Infected hepatitis B virus infants are more likely to develop complications such as chronic infection, cirrhosis or liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma). This review found no evidence from randomized controlled trials regarding the effects of hepatitis B vaccine for preventing infant infection.
We found no RCTs that assessed the effects of hepatitis B vaccine during pregnancy for preventing infant infection. Consequently, this review cannot provide guidance for clinical practice in this area. However, it does identify the need for well-designed randomized clinical trials to assess the effect of hepatitis B vaccine during pregnancy on the incidence of infant infection and to determine any adverse effects.
Infant hepatitis B infection increases the risk of chronic infection, cirrhosis or liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) in the adult. Perinatal transmission is a common route of infection.
To assess the effectiveness and adverse effects of hepatitis B vaccine administered to pregnant women for preventing hepatitis B virus infection in infants.
We searched the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group's Trials Register (31 August 2014).
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing hepatitis B vaccination compared with placebo or no treatment during pregnancy for preventing infant infection. Quasi-RCTs and cross-over studies were not eligible for inclusion.
Two review authors independently assessed trials for inclusion. If any studies had been included, we planned to assess the risk of bias, extract data and check the data for accuracy of all included studies.
We did not identify any studies for inclusion.