Epidemiology and prevention of hepatitis a in travelers.

Department of Gastroenterology, Shanghai Tenth People's Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.
Journal of Travel Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.53). 11/2013; 20(6):394-9. DOI: 10.1111/jtm.12058
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Hepatitis A is the second most common vaccine-preventable travel-associated infectious disease and hepatitis A virus (HAV) is the most common cause of viral hepatitis. The incidence of infection is closely related to sanitary conditions and the level of economic development.
We evaluated HAV incidence, infection-related risk factors, and HAV vaccination rates in international travelers through retrospective analyses using major databases, such as CENTRAL, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and the current literature describing epidemiological data for HAV infection in recent years.
We found that the incidence of HAV infection in developed countries is very low. As international travel increases, the incidence of hepatitis A among travelers remains high and likely leads to regional outbreaks. Travelers should visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website or Infectious Disease Prevention Center of their countries to learn about the incidence of infectious diseases associated with their destination before going abroad to determine if they should be vaccinated.

1 Follower
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Each year approximately 14 million Europeans travel to developing countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin American as well as to infrequently visited countries in eastern Europe. Without protection, travelers develop symptomatic hepatitis A at the rate of 3 cases per 1000 people per month of stay. Those who eat and drink under poor hygienic conditions have an even higher risk, 20/1000/month. Studies show that hepatitis A is the most frequent vaccine-preventable disease in travelers to developing countries. Immunity to hepatitis A virus is infrequent among northern European travelers, except for those born before 1945, with a history of jaundice, or who lived for > 1 year in a developing country.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 03/1995; 171 Suppl 1:S24-8. DOI:10.1093/infdis/171.Supplement_1.S24 · 5.78 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In Canada--a low endemicity country, vaccines for hepatitis A virus (HAV) are currently recommended to individuals at increased risk for infection or its complications. Applying these recommendations is difficult because the epidemiology of HAV infection is poorly defined, complex, and changing. This systematic review aimed to 1) estimate age-specific prevalence of HAV antibody in Canada and 2) evaluate infection-associated risk factors. MEDLINE (1966-2005) and EMBASE (1980-2005) were searched to identify relevant studies for the systematic review. Archives for the Canada Diseases Weekly Report (1975-1991) and Canada Communicable Disease Report (1992-2005) were searched for relevant public health reports. Data were abstracted for study and participants' characteristics, age-specific prevalence, and risk factors. A total of 36 reports describing 34 unique studies were included.The seroprevalence in Canadian-born children was approximately 1% in ages 8-13, 1-6% in 20-24, 10% in 25-29, 17% in 30-39, and increased subsequently. In age groups below 20 and 20-29, age-specific seroprevalence generally remained constant for studies conducted across geographic areas and over time. Compared to Canadian-born individuals, subjects born outside Canada were approximately 6 times more likely to be seropositive (relative risk: 5.7 [95% CI 3.6, 9.0]). Travel to high risk areas in individuals aged 20-39 was associated with a significant increase in anti-HAV seropositivity (RR 2.8 [1.4, 5.5]). Compared to heterosexuals, men having sex with men were only at a marginally higher risk (adjusted odds ratio 2.4 [0.9, 6.1]). High risk for seropositivity was also observed for Canadian First Nations and Inuit populations. Results from the current systematic review show that in this low endemicity country, disease acquisition occurs in adulthood rather than childhood. The burden of disease is high; approximately 1 in 10 Canadians had been infected by ages 24-29. The increase in prevalence in young adults coincides with disease importation and increasing frequency of risk factors, most likely behavioral-related ones. Gaps in seroprevalence data were identified rendering the application of current immunization recommendations difficult. A nationwide prevalence survey for all Canadians is needed. This is essential to quantify the effectiveness of current recommendations and conduct cost-effectiveness evaluations of alternative immunization programs, if necessary.
    BMC Infectious Diseases 02/2005; 5:56. DOI:10.1186/1471-2334-5-56 · 2.56 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis A and typhoid fever are endemic infectious diseases in many parts of the world. They share a common, simple mode of transmission--the fecal--oral route-associated with poor hygiene. The low endemicity of both diseases in developed countries, and the rise in travel to exotic destinations for business and leisure, mean that increasing numbers of travelers are being exposed to infection. Effective, established vaccines are available against both diseases, and recently new formulations combining both vaccines in one injection have been licensed. We review the present epidemiologic situation for both diseases, to determine the necessity to routinely vaccinate travelers against both diseases.
    Journal of Travel Medicine 05/2005; 12 Suppl 1:S12-21. DOI:10.2310/7060.2005.12053 · 1.53 Impact Factor