Seroprevalence and relevant factors of anti-hepatitis A virus antibody among general population in Baquba


Background & Objective: Viral hepatitis is an important health concern in Iraq. Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is spread through contamination of water and food. The majority of infections occur during childhood. Both clinical and subclinical infection develops long-life circulating antibodies. The present study carried out to determine the seroprevalence of anti- HAV antibody among general population in Baquba city and to explore the effect of certain relevant factors.Materials & Methods: The present study was conducted for the period from 30/September/2004 to 30/Augest/ 2005. 142 blood samples were collected from apparently healthy individuals. Sera were separated and kept at -20 0C till examined. Furthermore, 81 blood samples collected from domesticated farm animals were also included. Detection of anti-HAV IgG was done by enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA). Data were statistically analyzed.Results: The seroprevalence of anti-HAV IgG among apparently healthy individuals in Baquba was 73.2%.The infection rate was statistically higher in those < 15 years old (P<0.001) with an Odd ratio 7.6 times more compared to other age groups. Additionally, the infection rate among rural was significantly higher (P= 0.008) with an Odd ratio 3.5 times compared to urban. However, the effect of other factors was statistically insignificant. The seroprevalence of anti-HAV IgG among cows, sheep and goats were 22.2%, 18.2%and 21.8% respectively.Conclusion: The seroprevalence of anti-HAV IgG among healthy population in Baquba was comparable to that in other endemic areas and that domesticated animals may act as reservoirs for disseminating the virus in the community.Key words: seroprevalence, HAV, Baquba.