Geographically targeted chronic infection screening: lessons from a hepatitis B pilot study in the UK

Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2023 Jun 2;117(6):403-406. doi: 10.1093/trstmh/trac131.


Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) most commonly occurs following infection in early childhood. Prevalence varies markedly around the globe. Country of birth is therefore a strong predictor of CHB risk in adults. We used country of birth census data to predict CHB risk and carry out geographically targeted screening in East Yorkshire, UK. Despite engaging individuals born in high-prevalence countries with testing, we observed lower than expected prevalence in targeted highest-risk areas, which may indicate barriers to testing for people with undiagnosed CHB. Improved strategies for engagement with high-risk groups will be key for viral hepatitis elimination.

Keywords: geographic information system; hepatitis B; migrant health; screening; secondary prevention.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child, Preschool
  • Hepatitis B*
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic* / diagnosis
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Persistent Infection
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prevalence
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology