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The prevalence of antibody to hepatitis A antigen in various parts of the world: a pilot study


, : The prevalence of antibody to hepatitis A antigen in various parts of the world: a pilot study. American Journal of Epidemiology 106(5): 392-398

Samples of blood donors and patients with non-liver diseases from 6 foreign countries and the USA (1297 subjects) were surveyed for antibody to hepatitis A antigen (anti-HA) by immune adherence hemagglutination and for antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs) by AUSAB [ a radioimmunoassay]. The age-standardized anti-HA prevalence was 28.7% in Switzerland, 44.7% in the USA, 76.2% in Senegal, 81.1% in Belgium, 88.7% in Taiwan, 95.3% in Israel and 96.9% in Yugoslavia. Among subjects 18-19 yr of age only 5-10% of Swiss and Americans had anti-HA, whereas 92-100% of subjects in the same age group from Israel, Yugoslavia, Taiwan and Senegal had this antibody. A close correlation between anti-HA and anti-HBs prevalence was seen in 5 countries; however, in Belgium and Israel anti-HBs rates were low while anti-HA rates were very high. Apparently hepatitis A virus infections are widespread throughout the world and their occurrence and age-distribution are determined to a large extent by environmental and socioeconomic conditions, although other, as yet unidentified, factors are probably also important. In view of the unrepresentative nature of the population samples surveyed, these findings should be confirmed on other samples.

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Accession: 006740225

PMID: 200139

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