Dried blood spot testing in infants at risk of hepatitis B

Matthew Olley, Philip Keel, Sema Mandal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The dried blood spot (DBS) is a national, free-of-charge testing service that has been validated by Public Health England (PHE) to increase the testing of at-risk infants born to hepatitis B-positive mothers at 12 months of age in primary care. Infants born to hepatitis B-positive mothers are at the greatest individual risk of infection at the time of birth, with up to 88% of those born to high-risk (HBsAg and HBeAg+) mothers becoming infected with the virus. Even with a complete course of post-exposure immunisations, approximately 5% of these infants will develop chronic, asymptomatic infection. Therefore, the importance of testing at 12 months is fundamental, to allow for assessment and specialist management at the earliest opportunity. However, the proportion of infants being tested is sub-optimal, with difficulties in obtaining venous blood samples in primary care settings being reported as a major reason for poor uptake of testing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S22-S25
JournalGastrointestinal Nursing
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015


  • Dried blood spot testing
  • Hepatitis B
  • Neonatal screening
  • Primary care
  • Transmission


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