Pregnant women with hepatitis B may not have to worry that they will pass on the virus to their babies thanks to new research that found the antiviral drug telbibudine prevents the passage of the virus (HBV) to baby.
The study, which is published in the Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, was conducted on 450 HBV-positive pregnant women in their second or third trimester who had a significant amount of the HBV virus in their blood. Of those women, 279 received 600mg of telbivudine daily, and the remaining 171 refused to take the medicine and were used as controls.
When scientists examined their babies six months after born, they found that none of the infants whose mothers were given telbivudine tested positive for HBV, compared to 14.7 percent of infants in the control group.
“If we are to decrease the global burden of hepatitis B, we need to start by addressing mother-to-infant transmission, which is the primary pathway of HBV infection,” study author Yuming Wang from Institute for Infectious Diseases at Southwest Hospital in Chongqing, China said in a release about the findings. “We found that telbivudine not only eliminated vertical transmission of HBV from pregnant women to theirs infants, but that it is also safe and well tolerated by women and infants.”
Access the complete study at the Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association, HERE.
h/t Medical Express0