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Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2002 Jul;97(5):637-40. Epub 2002 Aug 30.

Seroepidemiological markers of enterically transmitted viral hepatitis A and E in individuals living in a community located in the North Area of Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.

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Departamento de Virologia, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, 21045-900, Brasil.


We investigated the seroprevalence of hepatitis A virus (HAV) and hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection in subjects living in the community of Manguinhos, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and assisted at the Health Unit of Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz. After formal consent, individuals were submitted to an interview using a standardized questionnaire. Anti-HAV and anti-HEV antibodies were detected by ELISA. Statistical analysis was carried out using the Epi-Info 6.04b software, to investigate possible associations between serological markers and risk factors. Results were regarded as significant when p value < 0.05. Although a high prevalence of anti-HAV was observed (87%), almost 50% of subjects under the age of 10 were susceptible to HAV infection, an unexpected rate in endemic areas. This fact could be attributed to improvements in environmental sanitation, occurring in this area in the last years. The increasing proportion of susceptible people may result in outbreaks of HAV infection, since the virus still circulates in this area, as verified by the detection of anti-HAV IgM in some individuals. No statistical association was met between HAV infection and the risk factors here assessed. The anti-HEV IgG prevalence found in this population was 2.4%, consistent with the one found in non-endemic areas.

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