Epidemiology and Infection

Cambridge Journals Online - CUP Full-Text Page
Epidemiology and Infection (2009), 137:961-969 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © 2008 Cambridge University Press
doi:10.1017/S0950268808001672

Original Papers

Hepatitis

A comparison of hepatitis B seroepidemiology in ten European countries


A. NARDONEa1 c1, C. G. ANASTASSOPOULOUa2, H. THEETENa3, B. KRIZa4, I. DAVIDKINa5, W. THIERFELDERa6, D. O'FLANAGANa7, B. BRUZZONEa8, J. MOSSONGa9, H. J. BOOTa10, D. BUTURa11, M. SLAČIKOVÁa12, M. L. C. PANAITa11, W. HELLENBRANDa6, H. DE MELKERa10, Z. SOBOTOVÁa12, G. ICARDIa8, N. ANDREWSa1, R. G. PEBODYa1, P. VAN DAMMEa3, G. KAFATOSa1, E. MILLERa1 and A. HATZAKISa2

a1 Centre for Infections, Health Protection Agency, London, UK
a2 National Retrovirus Reference Centre, Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece
a3 Centre for the Evaluation of Vaccination, Vaccine & Infectious Disease Institute, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
a4 National Institute for Public Health, Prague, Czech Republic
a5 National Public Health Institute, Helsinki, Finland
a6 Robert Koch-Institute, Berlin, Germany
a7 Health Protection Surveillance Centre, Dublin, Ireland
a8 Department of Health Sciences, University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy
a9 Laboratoire National de Santé, Luxembourg
a10 Centre for Infectious Disease Control, National institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Bilthoven, The Netherlands
a11 National Institute for Research and Development in Microbiology and Immunology ‘Cantacuzino’, Bucharest, Romania
a12 Public Health Authority of the Slovak Republic, Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Article author query
nardone a [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
anastassopoulou cg [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
theeten h [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
kriz b [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
davidkin i [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
thierfelder w [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
o'flanagan d [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
bruzzone b [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
mossong j [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
boot hj [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
butur d [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
slačiková m [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
panait ml [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
hellenbrand w [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
de melker h [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
sobotová z [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
icardi g [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
andrews n [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
pebody rg [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
van damme p [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
kafatos g [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
miller e [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]
hatzakis a [PubMed]  [Google Scholar]

SUMMARY

To inform current and future vaccination strategies, we describe the seroepidemiology of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in ten representative European countries using standardized serology that allowed international comparisons. Between 1996 and 2003, national serum banks were compiled by collecting residual sera or by community sampling; sera were then tested by each country using its preferred enzyme immunoassays and testing algorithm, and assay results were standardized. Information on current and past HBV vaccination programmes in each country was also collected. Of the ten countries, six reported low levels (<3%) of antibodies against HBV core antigen (anti-HBc). Of the eight countries testing for HBV surface antigen (HBsAg), the highest prevalence was reported in Romania (5·6%) and in the remaining seven countries prevalence was <1%. Universal HBV vaccination programmes had been established in seven countries as recommended by the World Health Organization, but the seroprevalence of antibodies against HBsAg (anti-HBs) was lower than the reported vaccine coverage in three countries. Regular serological surveys to ascertain HBV status within a population, such as reported here, provide important data to assess the need for and to evaluate universal HBV vaccination programmes.

(Accepted November 07 2008)

(Online publication December 23 2008)

Key Words:Europe; hepatitis B; serology; vaccination

Correspondence:

c1 Author for correspondence: Dr A. Nardone, Centre for Infections, Health Protection Agency, 61 Colindale Avenue, London NW9 5EQ, UK. (Email: anthony.nardone@hpa.org.uk)


Metrics