Community-based cross-sectional seroprevalence study of hepatitis A in Bangladesh

World J Gastroenterol. 2009 Oct 21;15(39):4932-7. doi: 10.3748/wjg.15.4932.


Aim: To elucidate the age-distribution of anti-hepatitis A virus (HAV) seroprevalence across different socioeconomic status (SES) categories in Bangladesh which, despite scarce data, is generally deemed to have high endemicity.

Methods: Blood samples of 818 subjects from a stratified sample of schools and hospitals, comprising different age categories and SES were collected. They were assayed for total anti-HAV antibodies. Social and medical history data were obtained using a questionnaire.

Results: Overall anti-HAV seroprevalence was 69.6%, increasing with age from 1-5 years (40.4%) to > 30 years (98.4%). Seroprevalence was lowest (49.8%) in the high SES group and highest (96.5%) in the rural lower-middle SES group. Among subjects aged 6-20 years, anti-HAV seroprevalence was lowest in urban private school children (43.0%), followed by urban government school children (76.2%) and rural school children (96.5%) (P < 0.01). Within the high SES group, anti-HAV seroprevalence was 32.3% in subjects < 10 years and 51.7% in those aged 11-20 years. Until now Bangladesh has been deemed to have high endemicity for HAV.

Conclusion: The transition from high to intermediate HAV endemicity may be underway; high SES adolescents and adults remain particularly at risk of symptomatic illness. Preventive measures need consideration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Age Factors
  • Bangladesh / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Endemic Diseases*
  • Female
  • Hepatitis A / epidemiology*
  • Hepatitis A / immunology*
  • Hepatitis A Antibodies / blood*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Health
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Social Class
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Urban Health
  • Young Adult


  • Hepatitis A Antibodies