Treating pregnant women with the antiviral therapy tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) reduced mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B virus (HBV), according to a recent randomized trial (Pan CQ et al. N Engl J Med. 2016; 374:2324-2334). Although postnatal immunoprophylaxis by passive or active immunization can reduce the rate of mother-to-child transmission from 90% to 10%, it fails in up to 30% of infants born to mothers with an HBV DNA level of more than 6 log10 copies/mL (200 000 IU/mL). Preventing mother-to-child transmission of HBV is vital to eliminating HBV globally and reducing liver cancer, according to the authors.
Slomski A. Antiviral Reduces Mother-to-Child Transmission of Hepatitis B. JAMA. 2016;316(8):809. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.11466