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.
- hepatitis A
- hepatitis A antibodies