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Acta Trop. 1997 Nov;68(2):229-37.

The prevalence of hepatitis B and C infections among immigrants to a newly reclaimed area endemic for Schistosoma mansoni in Sinai, Egypt.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt.

Abstract

Serology for hepatitis B and C markers was performed on a community-based random sample of 506 residents of an area recently reclaimed from the desert and endemic for Schistosoma mansoni. The mean age of the study subjects was (20 +/- 14), and 52% were males. The overall seroprevalence of hepatitis B (Anti-HBc and/or HBsAg) was 19.6%, hepatitis C (Anti-HCV) was 10.3%, while 5% were positive for both hepatitis B and C. A strong association was present with increasing age for both hepatitis B and C markers. However, there was no association with either sex, S. mansoni infection or schistosomal periportal fibrosis. Also HBV seropositivity was not associated with increased risk of HCV seropositivity. Anti-HCV seropositivity was significantly associated with previous parenteral treatment for schistosomiasis (OR = 7.9), and with history of previous surgery (OR = 3). Hepatitis B and C are major public health problems in this population. It is recommended to consolidate the Egyptian programme of infant hepatitis B vaccination, and to extend it to older children and high risk adult groups. There is also an urgent need to study more closely the epidemiology, natural history, risk factors and modes of transmission of hepatitis C.

PIP:

In Egypt, infection with hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV), together with schistosomiasis are major causes of chronic liver disease. Findings are presented from a study conducted in January 1994 to determine the prevalence of HBV and HCV infections in a Schistosoma mansoni-endemic area east of the Bitter Lakes recently reclaimed from the desert for agriculture. Serology for hepatitis B and C markers was performed on a community-based random sample of 506 area residents of mean age 20 years, and 52% male. The seroprevalences of hepatitis infection were 19.6% for HBV, 10.3% for HCV, and 5% both HBV and HCV. The prevalence of HBV and HCV markers generally increased with age. No association, however, was found with either sex, S. mansoni infection, or schistosomal periportal fibrosis. HBV seropositivity was not associated with increased risk of HCV seropositivity. Anti-HCV seropositivity was significantly associated with previous parenteral treatment for schistosomiasis and history of previous surgery. HBV and HCV infection is a major problem in this population. The Egyptian program of infant hepatitis B vaccination should be consolidated and extended to older children and high-risk adult groups. There is also an urgent need to study more closely the epidemiology, natural history, risk factors, and modes of hepatitis C transmission.

PMID:
9386797
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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