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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


SOUTO, Francisco J. D. et al. Prevalence of and factors associated with hepatitis B virus markers in a rural population in central Brazil. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2001, vol.10, n.6, pp.388-394. ISSN 1680-5348.

Objective. To carry out a survey of hepatitis B virus seroepidemiology in a municipality in central Brazil, on the border of two large ecosystems, the cerrado (savanna) and the Amazon River basin. Methods. The municipality studied, Nova Mutum, is located in the north central portion of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso. The study sample of 754 individuals included persons from families, selected at random, who were living in the municipality's urban center as well as all the individuals living in a nearby rural village. Ages ranged from 2 to 79 years. All eligible individuals were interviewed. Blood was collected and used to assess hepatitis B virus markers by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Results. Hepatitis B virus infection was found in 232 individuals, or 31% of them; 19 of them (3%) were HBsAg-positive. Of the 754 persons, 149 of them (20%) who reported having been vaccinated against hepatitis B and who presented anti-HBs positivity were classified as vaccine responders. With the multivariate analysis, the variables found to be associated with exposure to hepatitis B virus were having begun sexual relations, having been vaccinated against yellow fever with a needle-free jet injection gun (for the age group < 20 years), and being an immigrant from southern Brazil (> 20 years). Vaccine coverage was low among individuals older than 10 years. The largest share of susceptible individuals (74%) were found in the age group of 11 to 20 years. Conclusions. Our data suggest that hepatitis B virus vaccine coverage in Brazil should be extended to include teenagers in populations that have a low to moderate hepatitis B virus prevalence. It is likely that our results can be extrapolated to other areas of Latin America with a similar epidemiological pattern.

Keywords : Vacinação [infecção]; Vacinação [prevenção e controle].

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