Hep B treatment for mums protects infants

Doctors are being encouraged to offer antiviral treatment to expectant mothers with high levels of hepatitis B virus to protect their infants from acquiring the infection.

Research presented at Australian Gastroenterology Week shows mothers who took tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) or lamivudine treatment during the last trimester of pregnancy reduced the risk of hepatitis B transmission from around 20% to less than 2%.

Although hepatitis B vaccination of babies born to infected mothers is  effective, transmission can occur in a small group of women