Age-specific seroprevalence of hepatitis A infection among children visited in pediatric hospitals of Tehran, Iran
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Background: Hepatitis A is an enterically transmitted disease that still remains endemic in many developing countries. In some countries improvements in living conditions have recently led to changing in epidemiology of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection. In our country there are very few reports on prevalence of HAV infection. Objective: To determine the seroprevalence of anti-HAV IgG among children visited in pediatric hospitals of Tehran, Iran. Methods: The study group included 1018 children who were 6 months-14.9 years of age. These children were visited in four major pediatric hospitals of Tehran. The children were separated to three age groups: Group 1 (6 months-4.9 years; n = 469), Group 2 (5.0-9.9 years; n = 290), and Group 3 (10.0-14.9 years; n = 259). Serum anti-HAV IgG was tested with commercial ELISA kits. The data were tested for statistical significance with ?2 test. Results: In all subjects, seroprevalence of hepatitis A was 22.3% (95% CI: 19.7, 24.9). There was no significant difference between genders (22.2% vs. 22.5% in males and females, respectively) and among age groups (Group 1 was 22.1% and Group 3 was 25.9; p > 0.05). Conclusions: In summary, it seems that HAV infection is not highly endemic at least in some urban areas of Iran. On the basis of this epidemiologic data, post exposure prophylaxis would be necessary for children and young adults, and hepatitis A vaccination strategy should be revised.
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