Comparative hepatitis A seroepidemiology in 10 European countries

S. Kurkela, Richard Pebody*, George Kafatos, Nicholas Andrews, C. Barbara, B. Bruzzone, D. Butur, S. Caplinskas, I. Davidkin, A. Hatzakis, W. Hellenbrand, L. M. Hesketh, Anthony Nardone, V. Nemecek, A. Pistol, Z. Sobotova, R. Vranckx, C. G. Anastassopoulou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The WHO recommends hepatitis A virus (HAV) immunization according to level of transmission and disease burden. We aimed to identify susceptible age groups by standardized serosurveys to inform HAV vaccination policy in participating countries: Belgium, Czech Republic, England, Finland, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Romania, and Slovakia. Each country tested national serum banks (n=1854-6748), collected during 1996-2004, for anti-HAV antibodies. Local laboratory results were standardized to common units. Forty-one per cent of those aged <30 years and 6% of those aged ?30 years were susceptible to HAV in Romania; compared to 70-94% and 26-71%, respectively, elsewhere. Romania reported high HAV incidence in children and young adults. Other countries reported HAV disease primarily in older risk groups. The results suggest low level of HAV transmission in most of Europe. Romania, however, appeared as an area with intermediate transmission. Vaccination of risk groups in countries with high susceptibility of young and middle-aged adults needs to be continued.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2172-2181
Number of pages10
JournalEpidemiology and Infection
Volume140
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

Keywords

  • Epidemiology
  • Europe
  • hepatitis A
  • hepatitis A antibodies
  • incidence
  • serology
  • vaccination

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