Seroepidemiology of hepatitis A, B, C, and E viruses infection among preschool children in Taiwan.J Med Virol. 2006 Jan; 78(1):18-23.JM
Taiwan was a hyperendemic area for hepatitis A and B viruses (HAV and HBV) infection before late 1980s. To study the seroprevalence of hepatitis A, B, C, and E viruses (HCV and HEV) infection among preschool children in Taiwan, a community-based survey was carried out in 54 kindergartens in 10 urban areas, 10 rural areas, and 2 aboriginal areas randomly selected through stratified sampling. Serum specimens of 2,538 preschool children were screened for the hepatitis A, C, and E antibodies by a commercially available enzyme immunoassay and for HBV markers by radioimmunoassay methods. The multivariate-adjusted odd ratios (OR) with their 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated through the multiple logistic regression analysis. Females had a statistically significantly higher HAV seroprevalence than males. The seroprevalence of HCV infection increased significantly with age. The larger the sibship size, the higher the seroprevalence of HBV infection. Aboriginal children had a significantly higher seroprevalence of HBV and HEV infection and lower seroprevalence of HCV infection than non-aboriginal children. A significantly higher seroprevalence of HBV infection was found in rural children than urban children. There was no significant association between serostatus of HAV and HEV infection and between serostatus of HBV and HCV infection among preschool children in Taiwan. The poor environmental and hygienic conditions in the aboriginal areas might play a role in infection with HBV and HEV.