Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Stepped-up vaccine series for hepatitis B is effective during pregnancy

28.06.2011
UT Southwestern Medical Center maternal-fetal specialists have confirmed a potential new protocol to protect pregnant women who are at risk for hepatitis B, a health problem that affects 2 billion people worldwide.

An accelerated hepatitis B vaccination schedule for high-risk pregnant women was found effective and well-tolerated. The findings appear in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

While the normal three-shot regimen of hepatitis B vaccine for adults – given over a six-month period – has long been recommended for pregnant women, that schedule often proved unmanageable in the course of a pregnancy.

"It's difficult to get all three doses in pregnancy, and people tend to get lost to follow-up, especially high-risk populations," said Dr. Jeanne Sheffield, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at UT Southwestern and lead author of the study.

The research team stepped up the process for pregnant women and used the normal three-shot dosage given to adults over a 12-week period. That regimen is the shortest recommended schedule in nonpregnant adults that still offers protective long-term immunity.

"Now that we've shown it's efficacious in pregnancy, people are interested," said Dr. Sheffield, who also heads UT Southwestern's maternal-fetal medicine fellowship program. "We've already received a number of requests for our specific protocol from physicians who see high-risk patients and are interested in starting a vaccination program."

In the U.S., nearly 1.5 million people live with chronic hepatitis B infection, and it is the underlying cause of 3,000 deaths per year. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended in 1993 and in 2007 that pregnant women at risk for hepatitis B should receive vaccination.

Dr. Sheffield said, however, that health care providers seldom offer the hepatitis B vaccine series to reproductive-aged women because of lack of physician and patient education, patients' fear of vaccination and its purported side effects, and the overall reluctance to vaccinate pregnant women.

Even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports pregnancy is not a contraindication to hepatitis B vaccine, limited data were available on its use in pregnancy.

In the current study, conducted at Parkland Memorial Hospital, researchers enrolled high-risk women with a current diagnosis of a sexually transmitted disease, injection drug use or both, over a six-year period. Of 200 women enrolled, 168 received all three doses of the vaccine.

Researchers found that race, maternal age, tobacco and alcohol use, and gestational age at first vaccination did not affect seroconversion rates – the development of antibodies against hepatitis B – using the accelerated schedule. Obesity had a negative influence, however.

The accelerated schedule in pregnancy had seroconversion rates (90 percent) that were comparable to the standard schedule in healthy adults. The study also showed no increase in preterm delivery rates or neonatal intensive care admissions.

"The vaccine was well-tolerated in our pregnant women, and no serious adverse events were reported," Dr. Sheffield said. "Initial concerns about the ability of a pregnant woman to mount an effective immune response to a vaccine are largely unfounded. It's doable."

Other UT Southwestern obstetrics and gynecology researchers involved in the study were Dr. George D. Wendel Jr., professor and senior author; Dr. Ashley Hickman, assistant professor; Drs. Jennifer Tang, Kristie Moss and Natalie M. Crawford, all former medical students; and Atoosa Kourosh, candidate for a master's degree in public health.

The study was funded by Warren H. Pearse/Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and the Women's Health Policy Research Award.

Visit http://www.utsouthwestern.org/obgyn to learn more about clinical services in gynecology and obstetrics at UT Southwestern.

This news release is available on our World Wide Web home page at www.utsouthwestern.edu/home/news/index.html

To automatically receive news releases from UT Southwestern via email, subscribe at www.utsouthwestern.edu/receivenews

Robin Russell | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.utsouthwestern.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism
19.01.2018 | Weill Cornell Medicine

nachricht Researchers identify new way to unmask melanoma cells to the immune system
17.01.2018 | Duke University Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Let the good tubes roll

19.01.2018 | Materials Sciences

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

19.01.2018 | Health and Medicine

Meteoritic stardust unlocks timing of supernova dust formation

19.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>