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IntroductionHepatitis B virus (HBV) remains a public health threat and the main route of transmission is from mother to child (MTCT). Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate (TDF) treatment can reduce MTCT of HBV although the optimal timing to attain undetectable HBV DNA concentrations at delivery is unknown. This protocol describes the procedures following early initiation of maternal TDF prior to 20 weeks gestation to determine efficacy, safety and feasibility of this approach in a limited-resource setting.Methods and analysesOne hundred and seventy pregnant women from the Thailand–Myanmar border between 12 and <20 weeks gestational age will be enrolled into a one-arm, open-label, TDF treatment study with cessation of TDF 1 month after delivery. Sampling occurs monthly prenatal, at birth and at 1, 2, 4 and 6 months post partum. Measurement of tenofovir concentrations in maternal and cord plasma is anticipated in 10–15 women who have detectable HBV DNA at delivery and matched to 20–30 women with no detectable HBV DNA. Infant HBsAg status will be determined at 2 months of age and HBV DNA confirmed in HBsAg positive cases. Adverse events including risk of flare and adherence, based on pill count and questionnaire, will be monitored. Infants will receive HBV vaccinations at birth, 2, 4 and 6 months and hepatitis B immunoglobulin at birth if the mother is hepatitis B e antigen positive. Infant growth and neurodevelopment at 6 months will be compared with established local norms.Ethics and disseminationThis study has ethical approval by the Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University (FTM ECF-019-06), Johns Hopkins University (IRB no: 00007432), Chiang Mai University (FAM-2559-04227), Oxford Tropical Research Ethics Committee (OxTREC Reference: 49-16) and by the local Tak Community Advisory Board (TCAB-02/REV/2016). The article will be published as an open-access publication.Trial registration numberNCT02995005, Pre-results.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open



Publication Date





e038123 - e038123