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Free Content Hepatitis B seroprevalence in Thailand: 12 years after hepatitis B vaccine integration into the national expanded programme on immunization

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Summary Objectives 

To evaluate the impact of the universal hepatitis B (HB) vaccination programme on the prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) carriers and immunity to HB virus infection among children <18 years and to determine the HB seroprevalence in the Thai population. Methods 

We enrolled people in four provinces, including Chiangrai, Udon Thani, Chonburi and Nakhon Si Thammarat to geographically represent populations in the North, Northeast, Center and South of the country respectively. Serology for HBsAg, anti-hepatitis B surface (anti-HBs), and anti-hepatitis B core (anti-HBc) was tested using ELISA commercial kits. In total, 6213 subjects aged 6 months to 60 years from the four provincial hospitals and two to three district hospitals of each participating province participated. Results 

Overall HBsAg, anti-HBs, and anti-HBc seropositive rates amounted to 4%, 41.6% and 26.5% respectively. Of 2887 participants aged 6 months to 18 years, 2303 were born after (group I) and 584 prior to (group II) HB vaccine integration into the expanded programme on immunization of each participating province. The HBsAg seropositive rate was 0.7% among group I children and 4.3% among group II children. The prevalence rate of anti-HBc was 2.9% in group I and 15.8% in group II. In children under 18 years, the HBsAg carrier rate was 0.98% among complete vaccinees and 1.36% among participants without vaccination. Conclusions 

This finding supports the efficacy of universal HB immunization in reducing the prevalence of HB infection in Thailand which is a highly endemic country.
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Keywords: Thailand; hepatitis B vaccine; hepatitis B virus infection; seroprevalence

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1:  Center of Excellence in Viral Hepatitis Research, Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand 2:  Bureau of General Communicable Diseases, Department of Disease Control, Ministry of Public Health, Nonthaburi, Thailand 3:  Maharat Nakhon Si Thammarat Hospital, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand 4:  Chiangrai Prachanucroh Hospital, Chiangrai, Thailand 5:  Udon Thani Hospital, Udon Thani, Thailand 6:  Chonburi Hospital, Chonburi, Thailand

Publication date: 2006-10-01

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