A study of Hepatitis A and E virus seropositivity profile amongst young healthy adults in India.
Various Serosurveys and studies provide ample evidence of differing perspectives regarding epidemiology of HAV and HEV in India. This study was conducted to assess the seroprevalence of HAV and HEV and its associated factors with an aim to provide inputs to planners regarding requirement of HAV vaccine.
A multi-centric cross sectional survey amongst 4175 healthy trainees (young adults) was carried out in training centres, selected by multistage random sampling, giving equal representation to all regions of India. Sample size was calculated by taking prevalence of HAV seropositivity amongst adults as 60% and alpha 0.05.
Seroprevalence for HAV and HEV was 92.68% (95% CI 91.82, 93.47) and 17.05% (15.90, 18.26), respectively. Logistic regression showed that hand washing without soap, regular close contact with domestic animals, consumption of unpasteurized milk and regular consumption of food outside home were risk factors for HAV (p < 0.05). For HEV, irregular hand washing, consumption of unpasteurized milk and irregular consumption of freshly prepared food were risk factors (p < 0.05).
High level of immunity against HAV among the healthy young adults clearly demonstrates that vaccination against HAV is not required at present in our country. The large proportion being susceptible to HEV points towards the requirement of preventive strategies in the form of safe drinking water supply, hygiene, sanitation, increasing awareness and behaviour change with respect to personal hygiene especially hand and food hygiene.
Kotwal, A; Singh, H; Verma, AK; Gupta, RM; Jain, S; Sinha, S; Joshi, RK; Teli, P; Khunga, V; Bhatnagar, A; Ranjan, R
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