Brief Article
Copyright ©2009 The WJG Press and Baishideng. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Oct 21, 2009; 15(39): 4932-4937
Published online Oct 21, 2009. doi: 10.3748/wjg.15.4932
Community-based cross-sectional seroprevalence study of hepatitis A in Bangladesh
Samir K Saha, Setarunnahar Saha, Salim Shakur, Mohammed Hanif, Md Ahsan Habib, Sanjoy K Datta, Hans L Bock
Samir K Saha, Salim Shakur, Mohammed Hanif, Bangladesh Institute of Child Health, Dhaka Shishu Hospital, Dhaka 1207, Bangladesh
Setarunnahar Saha, Institute of Public Health, Mohakhali, Dhaka 1205, Bangladesh
Md Ahsan Habib, Sanjoy K Datta, Hans L Bock, GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, 89 Rue de l’Institut, Rixensart 1330, Belgium
Author contributions: Saha SK, Saha S, Habib MA, Datta SK and Bock HL were significantly involved in the study conception and design; Saha SK, Saha S, Shakur S and Hanif M contributed in implementing the project and were responsible for acquisition of data; Saha SK, Habib MA, Datta SK and Bock HL were significantly involved in data analysis, interpretation of data, critical revision of the article and the final approval of the manuscript for submission.
Correspondence to: Samir K Saha, PhD, Professor and Head, Department of Microbiology, Bangladesh Institute of Child Health, Dhaka Shishu Hospital, Dhaka 1207, Bangladesh.
Telephone: +880-2-9138594 Fax: +880-2-8611634
Received: June 10, 2009
Revised: September 17, 2009
Accepted: September 24, 2009
Published online: October 21, 2009

AIM: To elucidate the age-distribution of anti-hepatitis A virus (HAV) seroprevalence across different socioeconomic status (SES) categories in Bangladesh which, despite scarce data, is generally deemed to have high endemicity.

METHODS: Blood samples of 818 subjects from a stratified sample of schools and hospitals, comprising different age categories and SES were collected. They were assayed for total anti-HAV antibodies. Social and medical history data were obtained using a questionnaire.

RESULTS: Overall anti-HAV seroprevalence was 69.6%, increasing with age from 1-5 years (40.4%) to > 30 years (98.4%). Seroprevalence was lowest (49.8%) in the high SES group and highest (96.5%) in the rural lower-middle SES group. Among subjects aged 6-20 years, anti-HAV seroprevalence was lowest in urban private school children (43.0%), followed by urban government school children (76.2%) and rural school children (96.5%) (P < 0.01). Within the high SES group, anti-HAV seroprevalence was 32.3% in subjects < 10 years and 51.7% in those aged 11-20 years. Until now Bangladesh has been deemed to have high endemicity for HAV.

CONCLUSION: The transition from high to intermediate HAV endemicity may be underway; high SES adolescents and adults remain particularly at risk of symptomatic illness. Preventive measures need consideration.

Keywords: Age groups, Hepatitis A virus, Hepatitis A virus seroprevalence, Anti-hepatitis A virus antibodies, Socioeconomic groups