To evaluate the impact of routine hepatitis B (HB) vaccination on the prevalence of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection among children in Pacific Island countries where HBV infection was highly endemic, we conducted HB serosurveys during 2000 to 2007 among women of childbearing age born before implementation of HB vaccination and among children born after its implementation.
Serum specimens were collected from children aged 2 to 6 years and their mothers in Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia in 2000, children aged 2 to 9 years and their mothers in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia in 2005, and 5- to 9-year-old children and prenatal clinic patients in 2007 in Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI). Specimens were tested for HB surface antigen (HBsAg) and antibodies to HB core antigen (total anti-HBc). HB vaccination coverage was determined from health department vaccination registries. We defined chronic HBV infection as the presence of HBsAg.
Birthdose and 3 dose HB vaccination coverage was 48% and 87%, respectively, in Chuuk, 87% and 90% in Pohnpei, and 49% and 93% in RMI. Chronic HBV infection prevalence among children was 2.5% (9/362) in Chuuk, 1.5% (7/478) in Pohnpei and 1.8% (6/331) in RMI. Chronic HBV infection prevalence among women was 9.2% (21/229) in Chuuk, 4.4% (10/229) in Pohnpei, and 9.5% (11/116) in RMI.
Hepatitis B vaccination has resulted in a substantial decline in chronic infection in children in the Pacific Islands. HB vaccine effectiveness is high in this region, despite challenges in providing HB vaccine at birth and completing vaccination series on schedule.
"Nonetheless, the lower HBV prevalence points to a closer examination of CDC and WHO travel guidelines . New epidemiological data can serve to reclassify South Korea to intermediate hepatitis B prevalence level, reflecting successful universal HBV vaccination programs that have had a documented impact on the hepatitis B infection decline in China, Taiwan and South Korea [9-11]. The reported 0.2% HBV prevalence for those < 18 years  in South Korea is comparable to that of the U.S. general population. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is prevalent in Asian immigrants in the USA. California’s Inland Empire region has a population of approximately four million, including an estimated 19,000 first generation Koreans. Our aim was to screen these adult individuals to establish HBV serological diagnoses, educate, and establish linkage to care.
A community-based program was conducted in Korean churches from 11/2009 to 2/2010. Subjects were asked to complete a HBV background related questionnaire, provided with HBV education, and tested for serum HBsAg, HBsAb and HBcAb. HBsAg positive subjects were tested for HBV quantitative DNA, HBeAg and HBeAb, counseled and directed to healthcare providers. Subjects unexposed to HBV were invited to attend a HBV vaccination clinic.
A total of 973 first generation Koreans were screened, aged 52.3y (18-93y), M/F: 384/589. Most (75%) had a higher than high school education and were from Seoul (62.2%). By questionnaire, 24.7% stated they had been vaccinated against HBV. The serological diagnoses were: HBV infected (3.0%), immune due to natural infection (35.7%), susceptible (20.1%), immune due to vaccination (40.3%), and other (0.9%). Men had a higher infection prevalence (4.9% vs. 1.7%, p = 0.004) and a lower vaccination rate (34.6% vs. 44.0%, p = 0.004) compared to women. Self-reports of immunization status were incorrect for 35.1% of subjects.
This large screening study in first generation Koreans in Southern California demonstrates: 1) a lower than expected HBV prevalence (3%), 2) a continued need for vaccination, and 3) a need for screening despite a reported history of vaccination.
"The major impact of the global immunization has been the decline of HBV-prevalence in various parts of the world     . However, the absolute number of HBV chronic carriers has been reported to have increased in a number of geographical regions . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine the carrier rate, prevalence and susceptibility to hepatitis B virus infection in the city of Taiz, Yemen.
In a community-based household survey 521 subjects from 98 randomly selected households were enrolled. Carrier rate, prevalence and susceptibility of hepatitis B virus infection in the city of Taiz, Yemen were examined.
The median age of the subjects was 19 years (range <1-85 years), 219 (42.0%) of whom were males and 305 (58.0%) were females. The HBsAg carrier rate was 4.2% (22/521), the prevalence was 16.9% (88/521) and the susceptibility rate was 57.5% (287/499). Male vs female carrier rate, prevalence and susceptibility rate were comparable. Children (age ≤ 18 years) vs adults had carrier rates of 2.7% vs 5.7% (odds ratio=2.2) and a prevalence of 5.1% vs 28.4% (OR: 5.6). The carrier rate, prevalence and immunity to HBV among subjects who reported vaccination vs those unvaccinated was; 2.1% vs 5.5%, 11.3 vs 20.8% and 53.1% vs 18.8%. A proportion of 47.2% of subjects who aged ≤ 10 years had isolated anti-HBs. Of 142 of the cohort born after full implementation of vaccination program (age:≤ 9 years) 72 (50.7%) were immune and 70 (49.3%) were susceptible whereas of 357 subjects borne before program implementation (Age:≥ 10 years) 140 (39.2%) were immune and 217 (60.8%) were susceptible (p<0.02 (Pearson) OR: 1.6 CI=0.42-0.93).
An intermediate endimicity was identified in Taiz city. Vaccination reduced carrier rate prevalence and susceptibility among vaccinated subjects. The high rate of subjects with isolated anti- HBs together with the reduced susceptibility rate among the cohort born after inclusion of HBV vaccine to EPI reflects impact of the program. Improving vaccination coverage will further reduce susceptibility rate.
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