Hepatology International

, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 356–363

Hepatitis A outbreaks in China during 2006: application of molecular epidemiology

  • Jingyuan Cao
  • Yue Wang
  • Haiyan Song
  • Qingling Meng
  • Liping Sheng
  • Tao Bian
  • Wenqian Mahemuti
  • Ayiguli Yierhali
  • Masao Omata
  • Shengli Bi
ORIGINAL ARTICLE

DOI: 10.1007/s12072-008-9116-8

Cite this article as:
Cao, J., Wang, Y., Song, H. et al. Hepatol Int (2009) 3: 356. doi:10.1007/s12072-008-9116-8

Abstract

Background

In China, hepatitis is a huge public health problem. Outbreaks of hepatitis A are the most frequent cause of acute hepatitis, and to date, few epidemiologic investigations or molecular surveillance studies have been performed.

Materials and methods

In 2006, two major outbreaks of hepatitis A occurred, one in Guigang City, southern China, and the other in Hetian City, northwestern China. Field and molecular epidemiologic investigations were conducted.

Results

In Guigang, a single outbreak occurred in a school; 35 patients and 25 asymptomatic individuals were infected with 1 strain of hepatitis A virus (HAV). A case-control study showed that contaminated water was the likely transmission source. In Hetian, the epidemic of hepatitis A consisted of sporadic, small outbreaks involving as many as 20 wild HAV strains. A molecular epidemiology approach allowed us to identify two groups infected by individual HAV strains. Further fieldwork and a case-control study showed that ice cream was the suspected transmission source in one group. Our molecular epidemiology study showed that genetic variability between the HAV strains isolated from Guigang and Hetian and previously reported HAV strains was at least 4.3%.

Conclusion

Contaminated water and suspected ice cream were associated with outbreaks of hepatitis A. Viral genetic analysis may advance field investigations in complex situations.

Keywords

Hepatitis A Molecular epidemiology 

Abbreviations

ALT

Alanine aminotransferase

CI

Confidence interval

GXZAR

Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region

HAV

Hepatitis A virus

OR

Odds ratio

XJUAR

Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region

Copyright information

© Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jingyuan Cao
    • 1
  • Yue Wang
    • 1
  • Haiyan Song
    • 2
  • Qingling Meng
    • 1
  • Liping Sheng
    • 1
  • Tao Bian
    • 1
  • Wenqian Mahemuti
    • 3
  • Ayiguli Yierhali
    • 3
  • Masao Omata
    • 4
  • Shengli Bi
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Hepatitis, National Institute for Viral Disease Control and PreventionChinese Center for Disease Control and PreventionBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Department of EndocrinologyHarbin Medical University Second HospitalHarbinPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Center for Disease Control and Prevention of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous RegionUrumqiPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Department of Gastroenterology, Graduate School of MedicineUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan

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