PREVENTION OF HBV INFECTION
Three main strategies are available for the prevention of HBV infection:
(1) Behavior modification to prevent disease transmission
(3) Active immunization
Changes in sexual practice and improved screening measures of blood products have reduced the risk of transfusion-associated hepatitis. Behavior modification is thought be more beneficial in developed countries than in developing countries, where neonates and children in early childhood are at the greatest risk of acquiring infection.
Hepatitis B Immune Globulin (HBIG) is a sterile solution of ready-made antibodies against hepatitis B. HBIG is prepared from human blood from selected donors who already have a high level of antibodies to hepatitis B and used in passive immunoprophylaxis. Passive immunoprophylaxis is used in four situations.
(1) Newborns of mothers infected with hepatitis B;
(2) After needlestick exposure,
(3) After sexual exposure,
(4) After liver transplantation.
Prevention of primary infection by vaccination is an important strategy to decrease the risk of chronic HBV infection and its subsequent complications. The first-generation hepatitis B vaccine, an inactive plasma-derived vaccine, became available in 1982. Consequently, the second generation of HB vaccine, a DNA recombinant HB vaccine was also available for general use in 1986. Both of the vaccines were proven to be safe and efficacious in preventing HBV infection. In 1991, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that hepatitis B vaccination should be included in national immunization system in all countries with a hepatitis B carrier prevalence (HBsAg) of 8% or greater by 1995 and in all countries by 1997. By May 2002, 154 countries had routine infant immunization with hepatitis B vaccine
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