Contemporary clinicians who provide obstetric care acknowledge screening of pregnant women for perinatally transmissible infectious diseases as a routine component of prenatal care,1 although this has not always been the case. For example, prenatal screening for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection only began to be discussed after rigorous trials conducted in the 1970s and 1980s in high-endemic areas demonstrated that identification of chronically infected pregnant women followed by targeted neonatal immunoprophylaxis (hepatitis B immunoglobulin and the first dose of HBV vaccine) significantly lowered the risk of chronic infection in these children from 90% to approximately 5% to 15%.2
Silverman NS. Hepatitis B Screening in Pregnant Women: A Perspective on the New USPSTF Recommendations. JAMA. 2019;322(4):312–314. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.8252
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