Tenofovir in Early Pregnancy to Prevent Mother-to-child Transmission of Hepatitis B Virus

    Not Recruiting
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Updated on 22 January 2021
hepatitis b antigen
hepatitis b immune globulin
mother-to-child transmission


Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of hepatitis B virus (HBV) remains the major mode of transmission in most high and intermediate HBV endemic areas, despite existing WHO immunoprophylaxis recommendations. This immunoprophylaxis regimen, if given optimally, can prevent 75-80% of HBV MTCT, but optimal implementation is difficult because it requires administering monovalent HBV vaccine and hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIg) within 24 hours of birth. Due to the barriers of giving HBIg, the World Health Organization (WHO) states, "owing to concerns related to supply, safety and cost, the use of HBIg is not feasible in most settings." Clearly, global control of HBV transmission will require improved MTCT prevention. Therefore, the investigators hypothesize that treating HBV early in pregnancy will lead to undetectable HBV DNA levels at delivery and prevention of MTCT of HBV without HBIg; a concept that has already been proven with HIV. Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF), an approved anti-HBV drug, is promising to prevent MTCT of HBV due to its high potency against hepatitis B and its safety record in pregnant women. A randomized, controlled clinical trial (RCT) will be necessary to determine if TDF given to HBV-infected pregnant women early in pregnancy plus vaccine to the newborn can decrease MTCT of HBV without HBIg. However, before embarking on a RCT, several critical knowledge gaps need to be addressed including the ideal timing for TDF initiation. The purpose of this proposal is to address these knowledge gaps.


The investigators hypothesize that anti-HBV therapy given in the late first or early second trimester achieves undetectable HBV DNA at delivery in >=95% of pregnant women with chronic hepatitis B. The one-arm, open-label, interventional study aims: 1, To estimate the time to complete HBV DNA suppression (<100 IU/ml) in 170 HBV DNA positive women who start TDF in the late first or early second trimester; and to estimate the proportion of women with HBV DNA <100 IU/ml at delivery. 2, To address potential barriers to and the efficacy of implementing TDF in early pregnancy to prevent mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B. The investigators will measure potential barriers to acceptability and effectiveness of this intervention: adherence, potential hepatitis B flares in mothers (safety), and the proportion of hepatitis B infections in the offspring at 1 year of age (efficacy).

Condition Hepatitis B
Treatment Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT02995005
SponsorJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Last Modified on22 January 2021

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