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May 1976

Mother-Infant Transmission of Hepatitis B Antigen-Reply

Am J Dis Child. 1976;130(5):566. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1976.02120060112023

In Reply.—Our article in the Journal, a preliminary report of a study of 43 infants in Taiwan, as well as an expanded study of an additional 158 infants,1 presented evidence that the hepatitis B virus was commonly transmitted from chronic hepatitis B antigen (HBsAg) carrier mothers to their offspring. Among the latter group of infants,2 we found no relationship between breast feeding and the development of antigenemia in the babies. In further response to Dr Euler's questions, there was no relationship in antigen-positive babies between breast feeding and either (1) age when first found to be HBsAg positive (mean, four months in both breast-and bottle-fed babies) or (2) persistence of HBsAg (antigen persisted in 29 of 33 breast-fed infants, or 88%, and in 15 of 18 bottle-fed infants, or 83%). Because the blood samples taken from infants were small, we were

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