ABSTRACT: During the 15 years from January 1984 to December 1998 the Limoges University Hospital screened 22,859 pregnant patients for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBs Ag) and identified 149 positives. The overall prevalence (0.65%) was intermediate between prevalences observed among women of French origin (0.29%), French West Indies islands (5.68%) and of foreign origin particulary South East Asian origin (7.14%) and Sub Saharan African origin (6.52%). Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) replication markers was detected with relative low frequence (HBe Ag: 14.4%; HBV-DNA: 13.7-20%) among HBs Ag positive mothers. Markers of delta hepatitis virus was found among 10.5% of the HBs Ag carrier pregnant women. During the 15 years study period variations of the global prevalence were not statistically significant. Universal prenatal screening and infant immunisation could greatly contribute to the control of HBV infection if the polemic about the hepatitis B vaccination recently propagated in France will not have a negative effect on the acceptance and national programme of vaccination.
European Journal of Epidemiology 02/2004; 19(10):973-8. · 4.71 Impact Factor