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Viruses 2014, 6(3), 1336-1345; doi:10.3390/v6031336

Hepatitis A Immunity in the District of Aveiro (Portugal): An Eleven-Year Surveillance Study (2002–2012)

Department of Biology and CESAM, University of Aveiro, Aveiro 3810-193, Portugal
Clinical Analysis Laboratory Avelab, Rua Cerâmica do Vouga, Aveiro 3800-011, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 January 2014 / Revised: 19 February 2014 / Accepted: 20 February 2014 / Published: 14 March 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
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Hepatitis A is a common viral liver disease and brings serious health and economic problems as its epidemiologic pattern changes over time. National serosurveys from developed countries have indicated a decline in HAV (hepatitis A virus) seroprevalence over time due to the improvement of economic and sanitation levels. The hepatitis A virus (HAV) immunity rate was surveyed throughout an eleven-year period by sex and age group in Aveiro District. In this retrospective study, blood samples from patients of Aveiro District, in ambulatory regime, collected at the Clinical Analysis Laboratory Avelab between 2002 and 2012 were screened for the presence of antibodies against HAV antigen using a chemiluminescence immunoassay. The global immunity (positive total anti-HAV) was 60% and only 0.3% of the patients presented recent infection by HAV (positive IgM anti-HAV). The HAV immunity was age-dependent (p < 0.05), but no significant differences (p > 0.05) between sexes were observed. The immunity was similar throughout the study period (p > 0.05). The results of this study indicate that young people (especially under 25 years old) from District of Aveiro are susceptible to HAV infection, constituting a high risk group. The elderly should be also a concern in the future of Hepatitis A infection.
Keywords: Hepatitis A; immunity; surveillance study; epidemiology; Portugal Hepatitis A; immunity; surveillance study; epidemiology; Portugal

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Pereira, S.; Linhares, I.; Neves, A.F.; Almeida, A. Hepatitis A Immunity in the District of Aveiro (Portugal): An Eleven-Year Surveillance Study (2002–2012). Viruses 2014, 6, 1336-1345.

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