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High Prevalence of Hepatitis B Virus Infection in Young Adults in Ternate, Eastern Indonesia.

Ie SI, Turyadi , Sidarta E, Sadhewa A, Purnomo GA, Soedarmono YS, Pattiiha MZ, Thedja MD, Harahap AR, Muljono DH

  • Journal The American journal of tropical medicine and hygiene

  • Published 21 Sep 2015

  • Volume 93

  • ISSUE 6

  • Pagination 1349-55

  • DOI 10.4269/ajtmh.15-0331


The incidence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection has been declining thanks to the universal hepatitis B infant immunization program. Nevertheless, young adults born before the program implementation might have acquired HBV in early childhood or remain susceptible to infection. This study aimed to evaluate hepatitis B epidemiology in asymptomatic young adult population in Ternate, eastern Indonesia. Serum samples of 376 subjects (aged 17-25, mean 19.82 ± 1.69 years; male/female 138/238) were screened for HBV parameters serologically (HBV surface antigen [HBsAg]; its antibody [anti-HBs]; anti-core antigen [anti-HBc]), and molecularly (HBV DNA). HBsAg, anti-HBc, anti-HBs, and HBV DNA prevalence were 15.7%, 36.2%, 24.2%, and 27.9%, respectively, with male predominance. Of all subjects, 13.0% were HBsAg negative with detectable HBV DNA (occult hepatitis B [OHB]), and 56.4% showed negativity for all seromarkers. This population showed high hepatitis B prevalence with substantial occurrence of OHB. However, a high percentage of the population were still susceptible and at risk of HBV infection. This study emphasizes the necessity to improve prevention strategies to screen and manage HBV carriers, including the adoption of catch-up or booster vaccination targeted to young adult populations. Investigations on the roles of host-virus interactions associated with OHB and its implications are warranted.