Author(s): Migliani R, Rakoto Andrianarivelo M, Rousset D, Rabarijaona L, Randrianarisoa P
Abstract A seroepidemiological study was carried out to assess the prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in the city of Mahajanga, Madagascar in July 1999. A total of 654 serum samples were collected from randomly selected subjects over the age of 2 years. The ELISA technique was used to detect serum markers of HBV infection. Prevalence rates were 14.2 p. 100 for HBs, 1.4 p. 100 for HBe antigens, and 49.5 p. 100 for HBV infection as defined by the presence of at least one serum markers. HBs antigens were detected in 20.8 p. 100 of children between the ages of 2 and 4 years and 15.3 p. 100 of women of childbearing age. In the latter age group, 5.6 p. 100 demonstrated HBe antigens, which are considered as a replication marker. The findings of this study are in agreement with those of a previous study in Madagascar and indicate that an expanded program of immunization against hepatitis B virus is warranted.