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Current vaccination coverage against hepatitisB in pregnant women in Greece: far from the ideal target

Abstract number: P1132

Elefsiniotis I., Brokalaki H., Glynou I., Zorou I., Vezali E., Apostolopoulou E., Kada H., Saroglou G.

Objectives: Vertical transmission of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection occurs usually in perinatal period and is responsible for the majority of the disease burden in endemic areas, so screening of pregnant women for HBV serological markers is mandatory. Data concerning the current serological status as well as the vaccination coverage against HBV in women at reproductive age in Greece are limited.

Methods: Between September 2008 and September 2009 a total of 1826 pregnant women (mean age 29.9 years) who gave birth at the Departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of 'Elena Venizelou' Hospital of Athens were prospectively evaluated for serological markers of HBV infection.

All women in the study population were screened during delivery process for HBsAg, anti-HBc and anti-HBs, whereas HBeAg and anti-HBe were evaluated only in those who tested positive for HBsAg.

Results: More than half of the study population was originally from Greece (56%), 30.9% was from Albania and 13.1% from Eastern European countries. Overall, 3.83% (70/1826) of pregnant women were HBsAg(+) and the vast majority of them (50/70, 71.42%) were Albanian.

Two of 70 (2.85%) HBsAg(+) women were HBeAg(+) whereas the vast majority of them (97.15%) were HBeAg(-). About half (48.6%, 274/564) of the Albanian women exhibited anti-HBc seropositivity followed by Eastern European women (21.3%, 51/239) whereas only 6% (61/1023) of Greek women presented serological markers of previous HBV exposure. Moreover, serological markers of past HBV infection with spontaneous recovery [antiHBc(+) and antiHBs(+)] were observed in 13.8% (252/1826) of the whole study population whereas only 19.76% (361/1826) exhibited vaccination-induced protection [characterised by the presence of isolated antiHBs(+)]. Importantly, vaccination-induced protection rates were significantly higher in Greek women [89.6% of antiHBs(+) Greek women were isolated antiHBs(+)] compared to Albanian [ 16.2% of antiHBs(+) Albanian women were isolated antiHBs(+)] and Eastern European women [30% of antiHBs(+) Eastern European women were isolated antiHBs(+)] (p < 0.001, in all comparisons).

Conclusions: Current vaccination-induced protection rates against HBV are very low among pregnant women in Greece, so surveillance and immunisation programmes targeted at pregnant women are necessary in order to avoid vertical transmission of the infection.

Acknowledgements: The study was partially supported by the Hellenic Foundation of Gastroenterology.

Session Details

Date: 10/04/2010
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: Abstracts 20th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Subject:
Location: Vienna, Austria, 10 - 13 April 2010
Presentation type:
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