Seroprevalence of hepatitis B and C in the Western Brazilian Amazon region (Rio Branco, Acre): a pilot study carried out during a hepatitis B vaccination program


Brazilian Journal of Infectious Diseases




In 1999, on the occasion of the application of the first vaccine dose during the state vaccination campaign against hepatitis B virus (HBV), 390 individuals from the town of Rio Branco, Acre, aged two or more years were selected for the determination of the seroprevalence of HBV and HCV. HBV markers (HBsAg, anti-HBs, and anti-HBc IgG) were determined on this occasion and anti-HBs antibodies were also assessed 30 days after the third vaccine dose. At the time of vaccination, 39% of the individuals were still susceptible to HBV, while 61% presented serologic evidence of previous HBV contact or previous vaccination. The individuals with previous HBV contact were significantly older (p<0.001) than those without HBV markers. Of the 192 individuals who returned for reexamination, 30 days after the third dose, 158 (82.3%) had received three vaccine doses, and only 60 (31.2%) belonged to the group without HBV markers. In these individuals, the seroconversion rate after the third dose was 92% (55/60). In conclusion, we found considerable HBV in this population, indicating the need for pursuing the immunization programs. We also found high rates of vaccination coverage in the Western Brazilian Amazon region.

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