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Changing epidemiology of hepatitis A virus in Indian children

Authors Arankalle V, Mitra M, Bhave S, Ghosh A, Balasubramanian S, Chatterjee S, Choudhury J, Chitkara A, Kadhe G, Mane A, Roy S

Received 20 August 2013

Accepted for publication 19 September 2013

Published 18 January 2014 Volume 2014:4 Pages 7—13


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Vidya Arankalle,1 Monjori Mitra,2 Sheila Bhave,3 Apurba Ghosh,2 Sundaram Balasubramanian,4 Suparna Chatterjee,5 Jaydeep Choudhury,6 Amarjeet Chitkara,7 Ganesh Kadhe,8 Amey Mane,8 Sucheta Roy8

1Department of Virology, National Institute of Virology, Pashan, Pune, Maharashtra, India; 2Department of Pediatrics, Institute of Child Health, Kolkata, West Bengal, India; 3Department of Pediatrics, KEM Hospital and Research Center, Pune, Maharashtra, India; 4Department of Pediatrics, Kanchi Kamkodi Child Trust Hospital (KKCTH), Nungambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India; 5Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education and Research (IPGMER) and Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial (SSKM) Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India; 6Department of Pediatrics, Sri Aurobindo Seva Kendra (EEDF Hospital), Kolkata, West Bengal, India; 7Department of Pediatrics, Sarvodaya Childcare, Pitampura, Delhi, India; 8Medical Affairs Department, Wockhardt Ltd, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Abstract: Previous studies from India have observed an increased incidence of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection in the adult and adolescent population compared with children, indicating a shift in epidemiology of HAV. However, no HAV seroprevalence study has been conducted in India over the past decade. This prospective, multicenter, cross-sectional study was conducted in 928 children (aged 18 months to 10 years), to estimate the age-related seroprevalence of HAV across different regions of India. The present study also evaluated the impact of various factors such as age, socioeconomic class (SEC), education, source of drinking water, and excreta disposal on HAV seroprevalence. Overall, 348 (37.5%) children were seropositive for anti-HAV antibodies. Seroprevalence of HAV in the 6- to 10-year age group (50.3%) was higher (P=0.000) than in the 18-month to 6-year age group (30.3%). SEC and educational status of the parents were significantly associated with HAV seropositivity (P=0.000 for both). An increase in seroprevalence was observed with an increase in age in all SECs (P<0.000–0.001 for all) except upper SEC (P=0.124). Fewer subjects using a private toilet within the house (33.1%) were seropositive than subjects using an open field (75%) for excreta disposal. In conclusion, the present study observed a transition in the seroprevalence of HAV, with a higher seropositivity in older children. Age, SEC, source of drinking water, and education status of parents were significantly associated with HAV seroprevalence.

Keywords: children, hepatitis A, infectious disease, seroprevalence

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