Hepatitis B and C in Pregnant Women Attended by a Prenatal Program in an University Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Retrospective Study of Seroprevalence Screening


Hepatitis B and C in Pregnant Women Attended by a Prenatal Program in an University Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Retrospective Study of Seroprevalence Screening


Barros MMO, Ronchini KROM, Soares RLS

2018 Jul-Sep
Arq Gastroenterol.


Virus targets
Hepatitis B
Hepatitis C
HBV testing and linkage to care
HCV testing and linkage to Care
Screening and diagnosis
Screening of pregnant women
Target populations
Pregnant women
doi: 10.1590/S0004-2803.201800000-68.
Countries of included studies

Health outcomes

Categorization: HCV screening in pregnant women: screening results



Hepatitis B and C are diseases with high morbimortality and constitute a global public health problem. In Brazil, the prevalence is not homogeneous, oscillating among different regions, but it is estimated that currently about 1% of the population present chronic disease related to the B virus and that there are 1.5 million infected with the C virus. Despite the development of hepatitis B vaccine, improvement in diagnostic methods and therapeutic advances in the field of viral hepatitis, there is still a large number of people who continues to be infected by these viruses, especially in populations at risk and also due to several factors, including vaccination and migration policies. Vertical and perinatal transmissions are of great importance in the epidemiology of viral hepatitis and the blood tests performed during prenatal care constitute a great opportunity for screening and identifying these viruses.


To evaluate the seroprevalence of markers for B and C viruses in women who underwent prenatal care at the Hospital Universitário Antônio Pedro (Antonio Pedro University Hospital) from 2006 to 2013 and to compare the results found with regional data and those described in the specific literature.


A descriptive, cross-sectional, quantitative study with retrospective data collected from 635 records of pregnant women attended at the Prenatal Service of the Hospital Universitário Antônio Pedro, Niterói, state of Rio de Janeiro, from March 2006 until December 2013. The database was built in the Microsoft Office Access program and was later exported to Microsoft Office Excel. For the processing and analysis of the data, it was used the SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Science, IBM) version 22.0, for Windows.


Twelve cases with positive HBsAg (1.9%), 189 cases with positive anti-HBs (35.9%) and seven positive anti-HCV patients (1.3%) were observed. There was no significant association between age and positivity for HBsAg, anti-HBs and anti-HCV (P =0.205, 0.872 and 0.676, respectively). There was a direct relationship between the anti-HBs positivity and the last four years of the study (P<0.0001).


A high prevalence of HBsAg was observed, higher than the expected for the evaluated region; there was a prevalence of anti-HCV, consistent with the current Brazilian reality; and a likely low rate of hepatitis B immunization, with a relatively high rate of susceptibility to this infection and no case of co-infection between B and C viruses and HIV. It is emphasized not only the need to trace hepatitis B and C, without exceptions, during prenatal care, since even though the current advances in therapy may not cure, at least they may allow a better quality of life for patients with chronic disease and the mandatory completion of immunoprophylaxis in all newborns. Special attention should be given to those patients susceptible to HBV, with prompt diagnosis and referral for specific vaccination.

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03 Feb 2022