The INFANT-B Study

Towards HBV elimination in Africa: the Intervention For Avoidance of Neonatal Transmission of hepatitis B in Africa (INFANT-B) study is supported by the teams in The Gambia and Senegal.

The main objective of this study is to collect key missing data on hepatitis B virus (HBV) mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) in Senegal and The Gambia and establish a research group on prevention of HBV MTCT in West Africa.


Prevention of HBV MTCT is critical to acheive the 2030 HBV elimination objectives that have been recently set up by the World Health orgabnisation (WHO). However, HBV MTCT has been a negected field of research in Africa. Due to paucicity of data, the WHO is unable to provide strong recommendations in addition to the HBV birth dose vaccine to prevent HBV MTCT in Africa. In sub-saharan Africa, the rate and risk factors of HBV MTCT, the proportion of highly viraemic pregnant woment, the benefit of a systematic antenatal screening for HBe antigen (HBeAg) and the efficacy of peripartum antiviral therapy in pregnant women who are HBeAg positive remain debated.

The study will aim at evaluating 1) the coverage of HBV birth dose vaccine and its barriers, 2) the rate and risk factors of HBV MTCT, 3) the virological characteritics of HBV-infected mothers (proportion of women with high viral and positive HBeAg), 4) the accuracy of HBeAg to identify high viraemic in Africa, the relevance and feasability of a future randomized trial to assess the efficacy and cost-effectiveness of peripartum tenofovir treatment in HBV-infected women in combination with HBV birth dose vaccine to their babies (without immunoglobulins) to control HBV MTCT in Senegal.

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Abdoulie Jatta, Field Coordinator, speaking with a participant at Bundung Hospital, The Gambia.

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Rohey Bangura, Nurse Coordinator, explaining the INFANT-B study and taking informed consent from a participant at Bundung Hospital, The Gambia.

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Abdoulie Jatta, Field Coordinator, giving a health talk about Hepatitis B and the importance of birth dose vaccination at Bundung Antenatal Clinic, The Gambia.

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Abdoulie Jatta, Field Coordinator, giving a health talk about Hepatitis B and the importance of birth dose vaccination at Bundung Antenatal Clinic, The Gambia.

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Rohey Bangura and Jemima Thursz (Student) at Bundung Hospital, The Gambia.