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J Clin Virol. 2013 Jan;56(1):46-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2012.10.004. Epub 2012 Nov 3.

Impact of travel on the seroprevalence of hepatitis A in children.

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Univ. Lille Nord-de-France, CHRU Lille, Pediatric Emergency and Infectious Diseases Unit, Lille, France.



Recent data about hepatitis A virus (HAV) seroprevalence in industrialized countries and the impact of travels to endemic areas are sparse or absent, particularly for children.


To determine the impact of travel to endemic areas on HAV seroprevalence and estimate the overall HAV seroprevalence in children in France. To identify risk factors for positive HAV serologic results.


This prospective multicentre cross-sectional seroprevalence study took place in eight paediatric emergency units throughout France. Children 1-16 years of age following all inclusion and exclusion criteria were included. Demographic, socioeconomic, and travel data were prospectively collected with a standardized questionnaire before measurement of specific HAV antibodies. HAV seroprevalence was determined and its association with diverse variables assessed by univariate and multivariate analyses.


430 children were included, of whom 116 had travelled to endemic areas. The HAV seroprevalence in the overall population was 5% (95%CI, 3-7) and was higher among the travellers (12% [95%CI, 6-18]) than among the others (2% [95%CI, 0-3]), OR=7.0 [95%CI, 2.6-18.8]. Risk factors identified for positive serologic results for HAV were travel to an endemic area >7 days (adjusted OR [aOR]=4.3 [95%CI, 1.5-12]), age of 14-16 years (aOR=7.7 [95%CI, 1.6-38.3]) and mother's birth in an endemic area (aOR=5.2 [95%CI, 1.8-14.8]).


Statistical evidence showed that travel to endemic areas and parents' place of birth both play a role in HAV serologic results in children with a significant difference of HAV seroprevalence between traveller and non-traveller children in France.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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