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Control of HBV and HDV infection in an isolated Pacific Island: 1. Pattern of infection.

Speed BR, Dimitrakakis M, Thoma K, Gust ID

  • Journal Journal of medical virology

  • Published 11 Jan 1990

  • Volume 29

  • ISSUE 1

  • Pagination 13-9

  • DOI 10.1002/jmv.1890290104


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis delta virus (HDV) infections are known to be hyperendemic in Nauru. Because of the consequences of chronic HBV infection, the Nauruan Government has commenced a program that aims to reduce and eventually eliminate hepatitis B infection by immunizing susceptible adults and children on the island and every newborn baby. At the outset of this program, a national seroepidemiological survey was undertaken. Eighty-eight percent of the population were tested, of whom 69.1% had markers of HBV infection. Evidence of superinfection with HDV was found in 22.7% of HBV carriers, with the highest prevalence in adolescents and young adults. All seronegative individuals were offered three doses of plasma derived hepatitis B vaccine. A post-vaccination survey of 64% of those vaccinated showed that 98% had developed circulating antibodies.