Author(s): Atabek ME, Fndk D, Gulyuz A, Erkul I
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis A (HAV) and E (HEV) viruses in the different areas of Konya. METHODS: Anti-HAV and anti-HEV antibodies were investigated in 210 healthy children randomly selected (100 from rural areas and 110 from urban areas of Konya). None gave a history of previous icterus nor other signs of hepatitis, had received blood transfusion and HAV vaccine, or had been on hemodialysis. RESULTS: Evidence of HAV infection occurred in children under the age of 6 years. The seroprevalence rate was 67.8\% in rural areas and 25.8\% in urban areas. This increased rapidly with age and became universal after 11 years of age in both areas. In contrast, HEV infections were not detected until children were 6-11 year olds, and the 5.2\% seroprevalence rate in urban areas and 8.5\% seroprevalence rate in rural areas in this age group did not significantly increase in older age group. The prevalence of anti-HAV as well as anti-HEV was significantly higher in children with poor socio-economic conditions in both areas. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that HAV infection in rural areas of Konya is widespread and that environmental and socio-economic factors play a major role in its transmission. In contrast, hepatitis E is not a public health problem in Konya.
This article was published in Health Policy
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals