Seroepidemiology of Hepatitis A in the Croatian Population

authors:

avatar Tatjana Vilibic-Cavlek 1 , * , avatar Jasmina Kucinar 2 , avatar Suncanica Ljubin-Sternak 3 , avatar Branko Kolaric 4

Department of Virology, Croatian national Institute of public Health, Zagreb and School of Medicine University of Zagreb, [email protected], Croatia
Istria County Institute of Public Health, Croatia
Department of Virology, Croatian national Institute of public Health, Zagreb and School of Medicine University of Zagreb, Croatia
Zagreb County Institute of public Health, Zagreb and School of Medicine University of Rijeka, Croatia

how to cite: Vilibic-Cavlek T, Kucinar J, Ljubin-Sternak S, Kolaric B. Seroepidemiology of Hepatitis A in the Croatian Population. Hepat Mon.11(12): 997-999. doi: 10.5812/kowsar.1735143X.756.

Abstract

Background: Hepatitis A virus (HAV) has a worldwide distribution, although this distribution tends to be uneven among geographical regions and population groups. The prevalence of anti-HAV antibodies in the general population varies widely among countries. In Europe, the seroprevalence of HAV is reported to range from 32% to 88%.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the seroprevalence of HAV among the general Croatian population.
Materials and Methods: During a 2-year period (2008-2009), a total of 791 serum samples were tested for the presence of anti-HAV total (IgM+IgG) and anti-HAV IgM antibodies using an automated enzyme-linked fluorescent assay (Mini Vidas; bioMérieux, Marcy l'Etoile, France).
Results: The overall anti-HAV seroprevalence was 41.6%. The observed difference in the seroprevalence rates among male and female patients was not statistically significant (44% vs. 39.6%, P = 0.218). A marked increase in anti-HAV seropositivity with age was observed (P < 0.001). The seroprevalence did not differ significantly between participants residing in rural regions (45.3%) and those residing in urban regions (40.6%, P = 0.292).
Conclusions: Our results corroborate those of seroprevalence studies in other developed countries. More than half of the Croatian population (59.4%) is susceptible to HAV infection. Older age is an important predictor for being anti-HAV positive.


Implication for health policy/practice/research/medical education:
HAV represents a significant cause of morbidity throughout the world. The distribution varies widely among geographical regions and population groups. Information regarding the status of HAV immunity is crucial for the control of this infection as well as for immunization.

Please cite this paper as:
Vilibic-Cavlek T, Kucinar J, Ljubin-Sternak S, Kolaric B. Seroepidemiology of Hepatitis A in the Croatian population. Hepat Mon. 2011;11(12):997-9. DoI: 10.5812/kowsar.1735143X.756


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