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Microbiology and Biotechnology Letters


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Microbiol. Biotechnol. Lett. 2020; 48(4): 564-568

Received: March 12, 2020; Accepted: June 1, 2020

Epidemiologic Trends in Human Hepatitis A Virus Infection Stratified by Age between 2010 and 2018 in Cheonan, Korea

Jae-Sik Jeon and Jae Kyung Kim*

Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, Dankook University College of Health Sciences, Cheonan 31116, Republic of Korea

Correspondence to :
Jae Kyung Kim,

Although studies on Hepatitis A virus (HAV) were crucial in the establishment of the HAV infection prevention programs, no systematic investigation into HAV has been conducted since 1999. We retrospectively analyzed the data between January 2010 to December 2018 from all the patients who underwent HAV antibody tests at the Dankook University Hospital Health Care Center. Data were collected from 56,204 individuals. Overall, 34,834 (62.0%) individuals from this cohort were positive for HAV antibodies and the annual rate of anti-HAV antibody positivity was highest in 2010 (68.5%) and lowest in 2013 (54.8%). The average decline in the antibody positivity rate was 0.62% per year, showing a statistically significant difference (p < 0.001). In the over 40s age group, anti-HAV antibody positivity rates decreased from 89% in 2010 to 64% in 2018 (p < 0.001), with an annual decrease of 3.1%. In the over 30s age group, it decreased from 48.2% in 2010 to 34.7% in 2018 (p < 0.001), with an annual decrease of 1.82%. This study shows that the antibody positivity rate is decreasing across age groups but given that HAV infection poses more significant risks in older patients it is important to expand the evaluations of the current and future antibody positivity rates for HAV in various age groups.

Keywords: Epidemiological monitoring, human hepatitis A virus, immunological surveillance, viral antibodies, viral diseases

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