Seroepidemiology of hepatitis A virus in children of different age groups in Tehran, Iran: Implications for health policy
Background: Hepatitis A is one of the most frequently reported vaccine-preventable diseases throughout the world and remains endemic in many areas. Studies in various communities have shown that Hepatitis A virus (HAV) prevalence rises with age. The current data regarding hepatitis A epidemiology in Iran is limited. The aim of this study was to determine the seroepidemiology of hepatitis A in children of different age groups in Tehran, Iran. Methods: Plasma samples of 1065 children between ages of 6 months and 20 years were tested for the presence of total anti-HAV. The study population was stratified according to age. Results: The prevalence of total anti-HAV was 61.6%. HAV prevalence rates according to age groups were as follows: 61.5% between 6 months and 1.9 years, 51.7% between 2 and 5.9 years, 52.9% between 6 and 10.9 years, 65.2% between 11 and 15.9 years, 85% between 16 and 20 years. Total anti-HAV seroprevalence was significantly different between age groups. Conclusion: The study findings indicate that hepatitis A is prevalent in children in Tehran, Iran and HAV infection is an important public health problem in this region. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.