Hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) injection during pregnancy and/or after birth is an intervention for preventing mother-to-child transmission of the hepatitis B (HB) virus. However, varying cost-effectiveness ratios among various HBIG therapies remain unclear. This study explored these differences in cost-effectiveness ratios.
Four districts in Wuhan, China, were selected for the current study using stratified random sampling. Pregnant women who were positive for HB surface antigen (HBsAg) and who received prenatal care in district-level maternal and child health hospitals were interviewed. The mothers and their children underwent follow-up visits from the time of pregnancy until the children were six-and-a-half months old.
A total of 324 cases completed the follow-up visits on a voluntary basis. Among the 324 HBsAg-positive pregnant women investigated, 60.49% (196/324) were injected with HBIG at different trimesters. A total of 249 neonates (76.85%) received an HBIG injection within 24 h after birth. The HBsAg-positive rate in infants was 5.56% (18/324). The HBIG-injected mother and infant group had the lowest chronic infection rate among children [odds ratio=0.14, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.02–0.90, P=0.039]. The HBIG-injected infant group exhibited the lowest HBsAb-positive rate (odds ratio=0.07, 95% CI 0.02–0.23). The cost per averted disability-adjusted life years was lowest in the infant group: USD 118.61 (95% CI 105.23–131.99).
These results indicate that active and passive immunizations (HBIG and HB vaccine) entail the lowest cost in the prevention of chronic HB infection in infants. However, this programme has the lowest HBsAb-positive rate, which possibly prevents children from self-acquiring antibodies.