antenatal screening programme
Hepatitis B and C are serious viral diseases which affect the liver. Mothers can pass on their infection to their baby. An infected baby may develop liver problems later in life. This can be prevented by immunisation of the newborn baby.
Read more about hepatitis B on the NHS website.
UK NSC screening recommendation
The UK NSC recommends screening in pregnancy for hepatitis B. This is because:
- in England, around 0.4% of women have hepatitis B
- mother to child transmission can be prevented in 90 to 96% of cases through the use of antiviral therapy, vaccination and hepatitis B specific immunoglobulin
In 2018, the UK NSC reviewed whether there was any evidence to alter or stop hepatitis B screening and found nothing to suggest that screening should not continue.
Supporting documents from the 2018 review
Evidence summary consultation document Hepatitis B (2017)
This document provides the evidence on which the current UK NSC recommendation is based.
UK NSC coversheet & consultation responses Hepatitis B (2018)
This document summarises the review process including the public consultation comments.
Screening around the UK
The UK NSC recommends screening for this condition, however this may vary slightly depending on where you are in the UK.
Date previous review completed: 2018
Next review estimated to be completed: 2021 to 2022.
To see previous evidence reviews, visit the UK NSC archive.
Organisations interested in Hepatitis B
These organisations have expressed interest in this recommendation and may submit responses to evidence reviews.
List of organisations
- Advisory Group on Hepatitis
- British Society for Immunology
- Faculty of Public Health
- Hepatitis B Foundation UK
- Hepatitis B Positive Trust
- Institute of Child Health
- Royal College of General Practitioners
- Royal College of Midwives
- Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
- Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
- Royal College of Physicians
- Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
- Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh