European Journal of Epidemiology

, 22:195

A population-based prevalence study of hepatitis A, B and C virus using oral fluid in Flanders, Belgium

  • Sophie Quoilin
  • Veronik Hutse
  • Hans Vandenberghe
  • Françoise Claeys
  • Els Verhaegen
  • Liesbet De Cock
  • Frank Van Loock
  • Geert Top
  • Pierre Van Damme
  • Robert Vranckx
  • Herman Van Oyen
Infections Diseases

DOI: 10.1007/s10654-007-9105-6

Cite this article as:
Quoilin, S., Hutse, V., Vandenberghe, H. et al. Eur J Epidemiol (2007) 22: 195. doi:10.1007/s10654-007-9105-6

Abstract

Ten years after the first seroprevalence study performed in Flanders, the aim of this cross sectional study was to follow the evolution of hepatitis A, B and C prevalence. The prevalence of hepatitis A antibodies, hepatitis B surface antigen and hepatitis C antibodies was measured in oral fluid samples collected by postal survey. Using the National Population Register, an incremental sampling plan was developed to obtain a representative sampling of the general population. A total of 24,000 persons were selected and 6,000 persons among them contacted in a first wave. With 1834 participants a response rate of 30.6% was achieved. The prevalence was weighted for age and was 20.2% (95% CI 19.43–21.08) for hepatitis A, 0.66% (95% CI 0.51–0.84) for hepatitis B surface antigen and 0.12% (95% CI 0.09–0.39) for hepatitis C. The prevalence of hepatitis A and C in the Flemish population is lower in 2003 compared with the results of the study performed in 1993. The difference may be due to a real decrease of the diseases but also to differences in the methodology. The prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen remains stable. Considering the 30% response rate and the high quality of the self-collected samples as reflect of a good participation of the general population, saliva test for prevalence study is a good epidemiological monitoring tool.

Keywords

Hepatitis AHepatitis BHepatitis COral fluidPostal surveyPrevalence

Abbreviations

IPH

Scientific Institute of Public Health

PSU

Primary Sampling Units

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sophie Quoilin
    • 1
  • Veronik Hutse
    • 1
  • Hans Vandenberghe
    • 1
  • Françoise Claeys
    • 1
  • Els Verhaegen
    • 2
  • Liesbet De Cock
    • 2
  • Frank Van Loock
    • 1
  • Geert Top
    • 3
  • Pierre Van Damme
    • 4
  • Robert Vranckx
    • 2
  • Herman Van Oyen
    • 1
  1. 1.Unit of EpidemiologyScientific Institute of Public HealthBrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Department of MicrobiologyScientific Institute of Public HealthBrusselsBelgium
  3. 3.Surveillance of Infectious DiseasesPublic Health Surveillance of FlandersFlandersBelgium
  4. 4.Unit of Epidemiology and Social MedicineUniversity of AntwerpWilrijkBelgium