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East Mediterr Health J. 2005 Jul;11(4):640-7.

Serosurvey of hepatitis B surface antigen in pregnant Saudi women.

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  • 1Research Unit, Medical Education and Research Centre, King Fahd Specialist Hospital, Qassim, Saudi Arabia.


In 1990, Saudi Arabia began vaccinating all children at school entry against hepatitis B. We evaluated hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) prevalence rate among pregnant Saudi women 12 years later in 5 regions of the country. Using multistage sampling, 2664 pregnant Saudi women were recruited. Blood samples were tested for HBsAg; positive samples were also tested for hepatitis Be antigen (HBeAg). In all 2.44% were positive for HBsAg and 4 (0.15%) were also positive for HBeAg. HBsAg prevalence was highest in Gizan (4.2%) and lowest in Tabuk (1.4%). Positivity for women < or = 20 years of age was 0.5% compared with 2.6% for older women (P = 0.049). The overall HBsAg prevalence rate was lower than previously reported.

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