Association between hepatitis A virus and Helicobacter pylori in a developing country: the saga continues.J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006 Oct; 21(10):1615-21.JG
The epidemiologic association between Helicobacter pylori and hepatitis A virus (HAV) has been evaluated by various different groups with conflicting conclusions. The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of HAV and H. pylori infection among adolescents attending high schools in Lebanon, and to identify the sociodemographic factors associated with their prevalence, individually and concurrently.
Nine hundred and two school students 14-18 years of age were selected randomly from 30 schools scattered all over Lebanon and tested for IgG antibodies against hepatitis A and H. pylori. Each student received a copy of a self-administered questionnaire to be completed by his/her parents inquiring about demographics, history of immunization, and prior viral hepatitis illness in the student. Bivariate analysis examined the association between different sociodemographic variables and prior HAV or H. pylori infection, and multivariate regression analysis was done to determine the factors independently associated with prior infection.
Using ELISA the seroprevalence of antibodies against HAV was 71.3% as compared to 61.6% for anti-H. pylori. A total of 9.1% of those tested were negative for both agents. A multinomial regression analysis revealed that place of residence in relation to district or urban versus rural areas, in addition to mothers' education, were important determinants for the incidence of both agents.
The low number of subjects negative for both H. pylori and HAV antibodies in Lebanon is indicative of their high prevalence in the country. It is possible that this high prevalence reflects an age-specific prevalence rather than a true association.