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Abstract

In order to prevent liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma in later life, it is essential to prevent HBV infection in infants. If the mother is chronically infected with HBV and is also positive for HBeAg, 80–90% of the newborns become chronically infected, whereas if the mother is positive for anti-HBe, only some newborns will develop acute hepatitis or fulminant hepatitis. It is necessary to screen pregnant women for HBsAg and prevent mother-to-infant infection of HBV, treating the infant with hepatitis B hyperimmune globulin at birth, followed by HBV vaccination. In highly endemic areas of HBV, universal HBV vaccination of all newborns is advisable.