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Genes 2018, 9(5), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes9050259

Chronic and Occult Hepatitis B Virus Infection in Pregnant Women in Botswana

1
Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Gaborone BO320, Botswana
2
Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Botswana, Gaborone 0022, Botswana
3
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Botswana, Gaborone 0022, Botswana
4
Harvard College, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA
5
Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115, USA
6
Goodtables Data Consulting, Norman, OK 73019, USA
7
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH 45627, USA
8
Department of Psychiatry, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA
9
Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 11 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
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Abstract

The hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a global problem; however, the burden of HBV infection in pregnant women in Botswana is unknown. We sought to determine the prevalence of chronic and occult HBV infection in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected and -uninfected pregnant women in Botswana. Samples from 752 pregnant women were tested for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), and HBsAg-positive samples were tested for hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) and HBV DNA load. Samples that were HBsAg negative were screened for occult HBV infection by determining the HBV DNA load. HBV genotypes were determined based on a 415-base-pair fragment of the surface gene. Among the 752 women tested during pregnancy or early postpartum, 16 (2.1%) (95% confidence interval (CI): 2.0–2.2) were HBsAg-positive. The prevalence of chronic HBV infection was higher (3.1%) among HIV-infected (95% CI: 3.0–3.2) compared with HIV-uninfected women (1.1%) (95% CI: 1.07–1.1, p = 0.057). Among the 622 HBsAg-negative women, the prevalence of occult HBV infection was 6.6% (95% CI: 6.5–6.7). Three of thirteen HBsAg-positive participants were HBeAg-positive, and all were HIV-negative. Of the 11 maternal samples successfully genotyped, five (45.5%) were genotype D3, five (45.5%) were genotype A1, and one was genotype E (9%). Low and similar proportions of HIV-infected and -uninfected pregnant women in Botswana had occult or chronic HBV infection. We identified a subset of HIV-negative pregnant women who had high HBV DNA levels and were HBeAg-positive, and thus likely to transmit HBV to their infants. View Full-Text
Keywords: pregnant women; hepatitis B virus (HBV); human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); Botswana pregnant women; hepatitis B virus (HBV); human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); Botswana
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Mbangiwa, T.; Kasvosve, I.; Anderson, M.; Thami, P.K.; Choga, W.T.; Needleman, A.; Phinius, B.B.; Moyo, S.; Leteane, M.; Leidner, J.; Blackard, J.T.; Mayondi, G.; Kammerer, B.; Musonda, R.M.; Essex, M.; Lockman, S.; Gaseitsiwe, S. Chronic and Occult Hepatitis B Virus Infection in Pregnant Women in Botswana. Genes 2018, 9, 259.

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