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Infectious Disorders - Drug Targets


ISSN (Print): 1871-5265
ISSN (Online): 2212-3989

Research Article

Hepatitis B Seroepidemiology in Australia, One Decade After Universal Vaccination of Infants and Adolescents

Author(s): Xinting Lu*, Helen E. Quinn, Rob I. Menzies, Linda Hueston, Lyn Gilbert and Peter B. McIntyre

Volume 20, Issue 3, 2020

Page: [341 - 347] Pages: 7

DOI: 10.2174/1871526518666181001144303

Price: $65


Background: This study assessed the impact of the staged introduction of universal infant and adolescent catch-up hepatitis B vaccination programs on the prevalence of immunity and past hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in targeted cohorts over almost a decade in Australia.

Methods: We compared the prevalence of immunity in relevant cohorts of children and adolescents in repeated national serological surveys conducted in 1998-99, 2002 and 2007. Residual sera (n =2210) collected opportunistically from Australian laboratories in 2007 were tested for antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs) indicating vaccine-induced immunity; sera from individuals aged 12-29 years with anti-HBs detected (n =386) were then tested for hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc) to identify past hepatitis B infection.

Results: In 2007, compared with the baseline period of 1998-99, anti-HBs prevalence had increased significantly in all age groups below 24 years, by more than double in target children. Prevalence of anti-HBc was zero in the 12-14 years and reduced by 71% in those aged 15-19 years. The hepatitis B vaccination protected a significant number of targeted adolescents with a modest vaccine uptake (57% to 60% nationally).

Conclusion: In a setting without incentives or school entry requirements, adolescent vaccination coverage was significantly higher when delivered by school-based rather than GP-based mechanisms. A cohort of children was growing up in Australia with a high prevalence of vaccineinduced immunity against hepatitis B, providing the best opportunity for controlling HBV infection in Australia.

Keywords: Hepatitis B, seroepidemiology study, adolescent, universal hepatitis B vaccination, Australia, infection.

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