Seroepidemiology of hepatitis B virus infection in children 12 years after China’s expanded program on immunization in Qamdo, Tibet
Although hepatitis B vaccine (HepB1) was first recommended through China’s Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) in 1992, Tibet was able to offer universal HepB1 vaccination starting only in early 2004. This cross-sectional study was conducted to assess, 12 years after administration of HepB1, the seroepidemiology of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in children in Qamdo, Tibet. Focusing on a population of individuals ≤ 15 years of age living in Tibet, we analyzed serum samples from 261 healthy children for HBV status based on the presence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), antibodies against HBV core antigen (anti-HBc), and antibodies against HBsAg (anti-HBs). Of all participants, 87.4% had received HepB1 vaccination. The overall anti-HBs-positive rate was 30.7%, with isolated anti-HBs in 75 participants (28.7%). Of all those studied, 13 (5.0%) were positive for HBsAg and 18 (6.9%) for anti-HBc. Participants who received vaccination in hospital at delivery had a lower prevalence of HBsAg than that of those born at home. By reducing HBV transmission, the EPI in Tibet protected most Tibetans younger than 15 years from becoming HBV carriers.
KeywordsHepatitis B virus Hepatitis B surface antigen Seroepidemiology Tibet Vaccination
Hepatitis B vaccine
Hepatitis B virus
China’s expanded program on immunization
Hepatitis B surface antigen
Antibodies against HBsAg
Hepatitis B e antigen
Antibodies against HBeAg
Antibodies against HBV core antigen
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