Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
FERREIRA, Aline et al. Seroepidemiology of hepatitis B and C in Kaingang Indians in the South of Brazil. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2006, vol.20, n.4, pp. 230-235. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892006000900003.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the prevalence of infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) among Kaingang Indians living on the Mangueirinha reservation in the state of Paraná, Brazil. METHODS: The presence of viral markers was investigated in blood samples from 214 volunteers (81 males, 133 females), using immunoenzymatic techniques. The viral markers studied were: antibody to hepatitis B core antigen (anti-HBc), antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs), hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), and antibody to hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV). The participants answered a questionnaire on their sociodemographic characteristics, living conditions, personal habits (such as smoking and consuming alcohol or illicit drugs), and history of disease and of vaccination. RESULTS: The respondents ranged in age from 1 to 90 years; their mean age was 29.85 years. Positivity for anti-HBs was 71.02%, and for anti-HBc it was 15.42%. None of the individuals was positive for HBsAg. Anti-HCV was detected in only one participant, a 30-year-old woman. CONCLUSIONS: There were low prevalences of HBV and HCV infection in the Kaingang population studied. The high prevalence of anti-HBs in younger individuals indicates good immunization coverage. In the adult population, immunity against HBV was probably acquired mainly by contact with the virus.
Keywords : Hepatitis B; hepatitis C; Indians; South American; Brazil.