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Acute Hepatitis B in Western Sweden – Genotypes and Transmission Routes

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A retrospective study of acute hepatitis B (AHB) during 1995–1996 in Göteborg, Sweden, was carried out to investigate whether the increasing number of hepatitis B virus (HBV) carriers due to immigration in northwestern Europe has influenced the incidence or genotype heterogenicity. 24 cases of AHB were identified, the probable transmission route of which was intravenous drug use (IVDU) in 11 (46%), heterosexual in sic (25%), homosexual in one, hemodialysis in two and unknown in four cases. In no case was the source an immigrant with chronic HBV infection. Genotype D was seen in 12 patients, seven being anti-HCV-positive IVD users, two probably infected heterosexually and three with an unknown source. Genotype A was found in six patients: three IVD users, a sexual partner of an IVD user and two dialysis patients. Genotype B was found in one patient infected during travel to Vietnam, and genotype C in one patient, probably infected sexually from a previously identified chronic carrier. In conclusion, genotype D is the main genotype and IVDU still the major risk factor for AHB in Göteborg, while transmission from immigrants appears to be of minor importance despite the fact that this group comprises over 90% of the young, highly infectious carriers.

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Received: January 25, 1999 · Revision accepted: February 29, 2000

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Lindh, M., Horal, P. & Norkrans, G. Acute Hepatitis B in Western Sweden – Genotypes and Transmission Routes. Infection 28, 161–163 (2000).

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