Infections among pygmies in the Eastern Province of Cameroon
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The health requirements of pygmies is poorly understood because of their continued isolation from the other tribes in Central Africa. This study was undertaken among the Baka pygmies of the Eastern Province of Cameroon to generate basic health data among them. A total of 141 adults (18–45 years) were tested for the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), antibody to the surface antigen (anti-HBs), antibody to the core antigen (anti-HBc) and antibody to the hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV). All HBsAg-positive sera were tested for the hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) and antibody (anti-HBe). The presence of antibodies to the hepatitis D virus was determined in most of the anti-Hbs-positive sera, and some of the HBsAg-positive sera. In addition to these, previous infection with syphilis, measles, HIV 1/2 and HTLV were determined by looking for the specific antibodies. We found HBsAg in 14.2% (20/141), anti-HBs in 93.6% (132/141), anti-HBs in 52.2% (73/140), anti-HCV in 7.9% (11/139), measles antibody in 99.3% (139/140), antibody to Treponema pallidum in 13.4% (18/134), antibody to HTLV-1 in 10.9% (15/138) and antibody to HIV-1 in 0.7% (1/140) of the sera tested.
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