Risk factors associated with horizontal transmission of hepatitis B viral infection from parents to children in Mexico
Introduction: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in children is a health problem worldwide. In Mexico, a high prevalence rate of HBV infection and occult HBV infection have been reported in high-risk adults and children. However, studies regarding HBV infection transmitted from HBV-infected parents to children are limited. This study aimed to determine the risk factors associated with HBV transmission of HBV from parents to children in Mexico.
Methodology: A retrospective case-control study was carried out in 24 pediatric patients with clinical HBV infection and 48 healthy controls. Bivariate and forward conditional logistic regression analysis was used to compare demographic variables, the status of HBV vaccination, and risk factors for HBV infection transmission among children and their parents.
Results: No newborns were diagnosed with HBV infection, and no significant differences were found in age (p = 0.209) or gender (p = 0.612) compared to the control group. The independent risk factor associated with HBV transmission was the presence of a parent with a history of promiscuity (OR = 30.95, 95%CI = 3.382-283.326; p = 0.002), whereas having completed the HBV vaccination schedule for their age was a protective factor against HBV infection in the children (OR = 0.245, 95%CI = 0.079-0.764; p = 0.015).
Conclusions: HBV infection in Mexican children is associated with close interpersonal contact with a parent engaged in high-risk sexual practices suggesting that the horizontal route could be the primary mode of infection. Child and adult vaccination campaigns should be reinforced to avoid HBV infection in Mexico.
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