Background: Most HBV-associated deaths among adults are secondary to infections acquired at birth or in the first five years of life.
Aim: To extend the guideline for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of the hepatitis B virus to include antiviral prophylaxis.
Methods: The guideline was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in accordance with WHO standards. The summary was translated into German by employees of the WHO Collaborating Centre at Danube University Krems (Austria).
Results: In addition to the recommendation to test pregnant women for heptatitis B virus (HBV) and vaccinate newborns against hepatitis B as soon as possible after birth, two new recommendations have been formulated: pregnant women testing positive for HBV infection should receive tenofovir prophylaxis to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HBV. WHO recommends that in settings in which antenatal HBV DNA testing is not available, HBeAg testing can be used as an alternative to determine eligibility for tenofovir prophylaxis.