I read with interest the article by Grosheide et al1 published in the December 1993 issue of AJDC.
Six (8.3%) of the 72 infants in their study became positive for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) despite receiving HB immune globulin at birth and at later active immunization (four times). In addition, eight (11.1%) of the 72 infants became anti–hepatitis B core antigen (HBc) positive at age 12 months or older, which is evidence of HB virus infection. When HBsAg and anti-HBc positivities are combined, more than 19% of the children became infected. More important, despite passive and active immunization, 11 (35.5%) of the 31 infants of Mediterranean origin and three (12.5%) of the 24 infants of Asian origin (25% infection rate for both groups) became infected, these being areas of the world where prevention of infection takes on even more importance.
I wish that the authors also could have