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April 1972

Hepatitis Associated Antigen (HAA) in Pregnant Women and Their Newborn Infants

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Clinical Chemistry, Bispebjerg Hospital (Dr. Skinhøj); Milk Distribution Center, Children's Hospital at Fuglebakken (Dr. Sardemann); Department of Pediatrics, Rigshospitalet (Dr. Cohn); and the Kennedy Institute (Dr. Mikkelsen), Copenhagen.

Am J Dis Child. 1972;123(4):380-381. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1972.02110100112040

Neonatal hepatitis or giant-cell hepatitis is assumed to be a multi-etiologic syndrome.1 In some of the patients, however, the disease obviously is viral in origin and the significance of viral hepatitis in the mother during pregnancy has been discussed.2,3

Determination of hepatitis-associated antigen (HAA), a virus-like particle intimately related to long-incubation hepatitis (SH,MS-2),4,5 now seems to offer the opportunity to study the possible transmission of SH from pregnant women to their newborn.

The published case reports, however, have shown somewhat contradictory results.

Material and Methods  This investigation is based on a large-scale screening of all Danish pregnant women for HAA; the concluding findings will be published elsewhere.Sera from 70,000 pregnant women were examined for HAA in an eight-month period; 82 carriers of the antigen were detected (1.2%). The carriers were followed-up until delivery and cord blood was obtained from the newborns. The children are currently being