Serological markers of hepatitis A, B and C viruses in rural communities of the semiarid Brazilian Northeast


Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases




In the village of Cavunge, located in a dry tropical, semiarid rural region of the state of Bahia, Brazil, a sentinel study on viral hepatitis is underway. We report on the first part of the study. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of serological markers for hepatitis A, B and C in the village. Cross sectional study. Blood samples were tested for serological markers of hepatitis A (HAV), B (HBV) and C (HCV) through ELISA-III assay. In HBsAg and anti-HCV carriers, HCV-RNA and HBV-DNA were checked by PCR. The prevalence of anti-HAV IgG was 83.3% (1,210/1,452), being higher among residents from the village (87.4%) than in residents from the rural area (79.5%); it also higher among individuals older than 10 years of age. The prevalence of HBsAg was 2.6% (38/1,476), 9.3% anti-HBc (137/1,476) and 10.5% (155/1,476) anti-HBs of. In more than half (58.1%; 90/155) of anti-HBs carriers, this was the only serological marker found. In 3.7% of the population, (55/1,476), anti-HBc was the only serological marker found. All HBV carriers were infected by genotype A. Only 0.4% (6/1,536) presented anti-HCV antibodies and only one of them was viremic, being infected with genotype 1. The prevalence of patients with antibodies against hepatitis A virus in the village of Cavunge was high, but the prevalence of B virus was moderate, with only genotype A among HBV carriers. The prevalence of C virus was very low, contrasting with the situation in large Brazilian urban centers.

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