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, 10 Suppl 1, S67-8

Ecology and Prevention of a Shellfish-Associated Hepatitis A Epidemic in Shanghai, China

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Ecology and Prevention of a Shellfish-Associated Hepatitis A Epidemic in Shanghai, China

Z Y Xu et al. Vaccine.

Abstract

During a shellfish-borne hepatitis A outbreak in Shanghai during the first quarter of 1988, 300,000 cases were reported in two months. Using cell culture and experimental infection of marmosets, hepatitis A virus (HAV) was isolated from clams collected from the market and the sea bed during the epidemic. A dose-response curve correlating the quantity of clams consumed to the attack rate of hepatitis A was well documented. The occurrence of the epidemic was associated with a good harvest of clams in a new area, serious pollution of this area with sewage and importation of the clams in large quantities into Shanghai where most young adults were susceptible. Clams can apparently be decontaminated by using a continuous water flow. In this way, HAV titres can be reduced by 90% in one day and by 99.9% in two weeks. An attenuated live HAV vaccine which has been developed in China has been shown to be safe and immunogenic and may be used for prevention of such epidemics in the future.

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