Hepatitis B immunoglobulin is prepared specifically from pooled plasma with high titre of hepatitis B surface antibody and may confer temporary passive immunity under certain defined conditions. The major indication for the administration of hepatitis B immunoglobulin is a single acute exposure to HBV, such as occurs when blood containing surface antigen is inoculated, ingested or splashed on to mucous membranes and the conjunctiva. It should be administered as early as possible after exposure and preferably within 48 h, usually 3 ml (containing 200IUml_1 anti-HBs) in adults. It should not be administered 7 days or more after exposure. It is generally recommended that two doses of hepatitis B immuno-globulin should be given 30 days apart.
Results with the use of hepatitis B immunoglobulin for prophylaxis in neonates at risk of infection with HBV are good if the immunoglobulin is given as soon as possible after birth or within 12 h of birth. Combined passive and active immunisation indicate an efficacy approaching 90%.
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