Increased occurrence of hepatitis A with cyclic outbreaks among drug addicts in a Swedish community

Infection. Jul-Aug 1983;11(4):198-200. doi: 10.1007/BF01641196.


To determine the prevalence of antibodies to Hepatitis A virus (anti-HAV) among drug addicts, sera collected in a Swedish city during a ten-year period from 234 drug addicts with acute hepatitis B were tested for anti-HAV. The results were compared with the normal population, where only 3.8% of those born after 1950 were anti-HAV-positive. In individuals born between 1941 and 1965, 8.2% in the normal population and 30.2% of the drug addicts were anti-HAV-positive (p less than 0.001). The level of immunity to hepatitis A among drug addicts ranged from 7.7% to 60% during the ten-year period. Low levels of immunity were seen in the years preceeding outbreaks of hepatitis A among drug addicts. These outbreaks occurred in a cyclic pattern. Higher levels of immunity were seen after each outbreak.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Viral / analysis
  • Disease Outbreaks / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Hepatitis A / epidemiology*
  • Hepatitis A / immunology
  • Hepatitis A Antibodies
  • Hepatitis B / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis B / immunology
  • Humans
  • Injections, Intravenous / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications*
  • Substance-Related Disorders / immunology
  • Sweden


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Hepatitis A Antibodies