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: 1.58). 11/2013; 20(6):394-9. DOI: 10.1111/jtm.12058
Source: PubMed


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
12 Reads
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This phase 3b randomized, open-label study evaluated the immunogenicity and safety of coadministration of a hepatitis A and/or B vaccine with a quadrivalent oligosaccharide meningococcal CRM197 -conjugate vaccine (MenACWY-CRM), in the context of an accelerated hepatitis A and/or B immunization schedule. A total of 252 healthy adult subjects were randomized to three groups to receive hepatitis A/B only (HepA/B), hepatitis A/B coadministered with MenACWY-CRM (HepA/B+MenACWY-CRM), or MenACWY-CRM only (MenACWY-CRM). Hepatitis A and/or B vaccination was administered in the form of a single booster dose or a primary three-dose series, depending on the hepatitis A and/or B vaccination history of subjects. Antibody responses to hepatitis A/B vaccination were assessed 1 month following the last hepatitis A and/or B dose. Serum bactericidal activity with human complement (hSBA) against meningococcal serogroups A, C, W-135, and Y was assessed 1 month post-MenACWY-CRM vaccination. Safety was monitored throughout the study. At 1 month following the final hepatitis A and/or B vaccination, concomitant administration of hepatitis A/B and MenACWY-CRM was non-inferior to administration of hepatitis A/B alone in terms of geometric mean concentrations of antibodies against the hepatitis A and B antigens. One month post-MenACWY-CRM vaccination, the percentages of subjects achieving hSBA titers ≥8 for serogroups A, C, W-135, and Y in the HepA/B+MenACWY-CRM group (76, 87, 99, and 94%, respectively) were comparable to those in the MenACWY-CRM group (67, 82, 96, and 88%, respectively). The percentages of subjects reporting adverse events (AEs) were similar across study groups and a majority of the reported AEs were mild to moderate in nature. There were no study vaccine-related serious AEs. MenACWY-CRM can be administered concomitantly with a hepatitis A and/or B vaccine in the context of an accelerated hepatitis A and/or B immunization schedule without increasing safety concerns or compromising the immune responses to any of the vaccine antigens. [NCT01453348]. © 2014 International Society of Travel Medicine.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Journal of Travel Medicine
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: IntroductionAlthough hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection is preventable through vaccination, cases associated with international travel continue to occur. The purpose of this study was to examine the frequency of international travel and countries visited among persons infected with HAV and assess reasons why travelers had not received hepatitis A vaccine before traveling.Methods Using data from sentinel surveillance for HAV infection in seven US counties during 1996 to 2006, we examined the role of international travel in hepatitis A incidence and the reasons for patients not being vaccinated.ResultsOf 2,002 hepatitis A patients for whom travel history was available, 300 (15%) reported traveling outside of the United States. Compared to non-travelers, travelers were more likely to be female [odds ratio (OR) = 1.74 (95% confidence interval [95% CI], 1.35, 2.24)], aged 0 to 17 years [OR = 3.30 (1.83, 5.94)], Hispanic [OR = 3.69 (2.81, 4.86)], Asian [OR = 2.00 (1.06, 3.77)], and were less likely to be black non-Hispanic [OR = 0.30 (0.11, 0.82)]. The majority, 189 (61.6%), had traveled to Mexico. The most common reason for not getting pre-travel vaccination was “Didn't know I could [or should] get shots” [100/154 (65%)].Conclusion Low awareness of HAV vaccination was the predominant reason for not being protected before travel. Different modes of traveler education could improve prevention of hepatitis A. To highlight the risk of infection before traveling to endemic countries including Mexico, travel and consulate websites could list reminders of vaccine recommendations.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Journal of Travel Medicine
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Over recent decades, the global incidence of hepatitis A virus infection has been reduced by improvements in sanitation infrastructure and through immunization programs. The immunogenicity and field efficacy of the inactivated hepatitis A vaccine (Havrix™, GSK, Belgium) has been demonstrated in clinical trials, population-impact studies as well as in several outbreak settings. However, immunological data in older populations are limited, with only few studies assessing the immune response of this vaccine in adults aged ≥40 years. This retrospective pooled analysis of 4 two-dose primary vaccination studies compared the immunogenicity and safety of the inactivated hepatitis A vaccine in adults aged ≥40 years with subjects aged 20-30 years (control group; N=80 in each group). Fifteen days after the first vaccine dose, 79.7% (95% CI: 68.8-88.2) and 92.3% (95% CI: 84.0-97.1) of subjects were seropositive in the ≥40 years and control groups, respectively; 97.5% (95% CI: 91.2-99.7) and 97.4% (95% CI: 91.0-99.7), respectively, were seropositive one month after the first dose. All subjects in both groups (95% CIs: 95.4-100 and 95.3-100, respectively) were seropositive one month after the second dose. Safety profiles were similar in both groups. In conclusion, the inactivated hepatitis A vaccine induced similar immune responses in adults aged ≥40 and 20-30 years one month after the first and second dose whereas younger subjects may demonstrate a higher seroconversion rate 15 days after the first dose.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics