Shifting Epidemiology of Hepatitis A Infection and Vaccination Status of Children Aged 6 Months-12 Years: Time for Mass Vaccination


Burcin Nalbantoglu 1 , * , Metin M.Donma 2 , Burcu Ozdilek 3 , Erkut Karasu 4 , Aysin Nalbantoglu 5






How to Cite: Nalbantoglu B, M.Donma M, Ozdilek B, Karasu E, Nalbantoglu A. Shifting Epidemiology of Hepatitis A Infection and Vaccination Status of Children Aged 6 Months-12 Years: Time for Mass Vaccination, Iran J Pediatr. 2013 ; 23(3):276-280.


Iranian Journal of Pediatrics: 23 (3); 276-280
Published Online: March 13, 2013
Article Type: Research Article
Received: October 17, 2012
Accepted: February 27, 2013


Objective: This study was designed to determine the current age-related hepatitis A virus (HAV) seroprevalance, vaccination status of children and to evaluate the epidemiological shift in HAV serostatus living in Tekirdağ, which is located in Thrace region, the European part of Turkey. Methods: Children 6 months-12 years of age with simple health problems were included. Blood samples were studied for HAV IgM and IgG collectively. A questionnaire addressing several characteristics of subjects was administered to obtain basic descriptive data on HAV epidemiology. Vaccination status of the children was recorded according to the immunization cards. Findings: The overall anti-HAV IgM and anti-HAV IgG prevalance in children aged 6 months – 12 years was 3.3% and 25.4% respectively. Maximum hepatitis A IgM positivity was in the 7-12 years age group 4.8% (n= 12; P<0.001) and maximum hepatitis A IgG positivity in the same age group was 34% (n=85; P<0.001). HAV vaccination rate among patients aged more than 2 years was 11.03%. HAV IgG seroprevalance was higher in children of low monthly income families (36.1%, n=78; P<0.001) than in the intermediate (17%, n=31) and high income families (11.1%, n=6). Conclusion: These results indicate a shift in Hepatitis A seroprevalance when compared with the previous studies. As HAV infection in childhood is decreasing, the pool of susceptible adolescents and young adults is increasing. Introduction of hepatitis A vaccination into the national immunization schedule of Turkey should be considered.




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