Sir.—Conflicting results have been reported regarding infection of infants by mothers who are symptom free chronic hepatitis B carriers.1 The public health implication of neonatal hepatitis B will be directly related to local prevalence of maternal infection. Survival of hepatitis B virus is ensured by the reservoirs of carriers, of whom there are estimated to be 200 million or more in the world.2
Prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) varies from country to country and depends on geographic, ethnic, genetic, and socioeconomic factors. In India, being a very large country with varying socioeconomic factors and ethnicity, the pattern of prevalence varies from the north to the south.3
Subjects and Methods.—The present study was conducted on a total of 400 apparently healthy pregnant women admitted to Women and Children Hospital, Davangere, India, at the time of labor. The hospital is situated in the heart of
KULKARNI ML, REDDY PV. Prevalence of HBsAg in Asymptomatic Carrier Mothers and Vertical Transmission in South India. Am J Dis Child. 1988;142(2):124–125. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1988.02150020018011
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