Volume 101, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Universal immunoprophylaxis against hepatitis B virus (HBV) is regarded as a key element to prevent perinatal HBV infection. The aim of the present study was to investigate the changes in the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)- and hepatitis B envelope antigen (HBeAg)-positive rates in native and immigrant pregnant women, to realize the impact of immigrants, and to identify any weaknesses 30 years after the implementation of hepatitis B vaccination in Taiwan. A total of 20,020 test results of HBsAg and HBeAg in pregnant women—2,915 (14.6%) immigrant women and 17,105 native Taiwanese—from 1996 to 2015 were analyzed for changes during this 20-year retrospective cohort study. Native Taiwanese have a higher HBsAg-positive rate than immigrant women ( < 0.001). However, the HBsAg-positive rates decreased by 0.6% per year among native women, but did not decrease significantly (only by 0.18% per year) among immigrant women. The overall HBsAg-positive rate remained at high levels, 4.8% in the year 2015. The HBeAg-positive rate decreased significantly, by 0.22% per year, in the total women as well as by 0.23% per year in the native women (all < 0.001); by contrast, the HBeAg-positive rate in immigrants decreased at a slower rate (0.10% per year), without a significant decreasing trend ( = 0.300). Higher HBeAg (+)/HBsAg (+) rate was found for the immigrants than for the native women ( < 0.001). To quickly and effectively lower the risk of vertical transmission, new approaches combined with vaccination may be needed in the post-immunization era.


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  • Received : 29 Jan 2019
  • Accepted : 05 Jun 2019
  • Published online : 05 Aug 2019

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