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The European Sero-Epidemiology Network 2 (ESEN2)

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Cleo Anastassopoulou
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The European Sero-Epidemiology Network 2 (ESEN2) aimed to compare serological results of vaccine-preventable diseases across Europe. To ensure direct inter-country comparability of hepatitis A virus antibody (anti-HAV) measurements, a standardization panel of 150 sera was developed by a designated reference laboratory and tested by participating national laboratories using assays of choice; each country's results were subsequently regressed against those of the reference laboratory. Quantitatively, the assays were generally highly correlated (R2>0.90). Nevertheless, qualitative comparisons indicated that results obtained with different assays may differ despite the usage of well-established international and local standards. To a great extent standardization successfully alleviated such differences. The generated standardization equations will be used to convert national serological results into common units to enable direct international comparisons of HAV seroprevalence data. The results of this study are expected to contribute to the evaluation and potential improvement of the currently employed immunization strategies for hepatitis in Europe.