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Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 1996 Nov-Dec;90(6):647-8.

Acute viral hepatitis in Hanoi, Viet Nam.

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  • 1US Naval Medical Research Unit No. 2, APO AP 96520-8132, USA.


A study of acute hepatitis was conducted in Hanoi, Viet Nam, from January 1993 to February 1995; 188 sera from clinical hepatitis cases were screened by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for immunoglobulin (Ig) M anti-hepatitis A virus (HAV), IgM anti-hepatitis B core antigen (HBc), IgG anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV), IgG anti-hepatitis E virus (HEV) and IgM anti-HEV. Additionally, 187 sera from control subjects, matched by age, sex and month of admission, with no recent history of hepatitis, were tested for comparative purposes. There was serological evidence of recent HAV (29%) and hepatitis B virus (24%) infection in 53% of cases (2 mixed infections), compared with 2% of controls. HCV infections were detected in 10% of cases (with no IgM anti-HAV or IgM anti-HBc) and in 1% of control sera. There was no significant difference in the proportion of IgG anti-HEV positive sera between cases (in the absence of IgM anti-HAV or IgM anti-HBc) (21%) and controls (14%); 3% of all case sera were IgM anti-HEV positive. Younger cases (< 20 years) were more likely to have recent HAV infections (41%) than those aged > or = 20 years (21%) (P < 0.01). In contrast, a higher percentage of adult cases had IgM anti-HBc, IgG anti-HCV and IgG anti-HEV (in the absence of recent HAV or HBV infection) than did children. No seasonal trend in hepatitis admissions was detected, nor an association between water-borne infections (HAV and HEV) and the warmer months. Hepatitis patients lived throughout Hanoi and surrounding areas, with no identifiable geographical clustering, regardless of serological marker.

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