Epidemiology and Infection



Short Report

Hepatitis A virus in urban sewage from two Mediterranean countries


R. M. PINTÓ a1, D. ALEGRE a2, A. DOMÍNGUEZ a3, W. M. EL-SENOUSY a1, G. SÁNCHEZ a1, C. VILLENA a1, M. I. COSTAFREDA a1, L. ARAGONÈS a1 and A. BOSCH a1c1
a1 Enteric Virus Laboratory, Department of Microbiology, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
a2 Enteric Virus Laboratory, Serology Laboratory, Terrassa Health Consortium, Terrassa, Spain
a3 Department of Health and Social Security, Generalitat de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain

Article author query
pinto rm   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
alegre d   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
dominguez a   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
el-senousy wm   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
sanchez g   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
villena c   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
costafreda mi   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
aragones l   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
bosch a   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

Molecular methods for the detection and typing of hepatitis A virus (HAV) strains in sewage were applied to determine its distribution in Cairo and Barcelona. The study revealed the occurrence of different patterns of hepatitis A endemicity in each city. The circulating strains characterized, whether in Cairo or Barcelona, were genotype IB. The effects of a child vaccination programme and the increase in the immigrant population on the overall hepatitis A occurrence in Barcelona were evaluated. While vaccination contributed to a significant decrease in the number of clinical cases, the huge recent immigration flow has probably been responsible for the re-emergence of the disease in the last year of study, in the form of small outbreaks among the non-vaccinated population.

(Accepted April 13 2006)
(Published Online July 3 2006)


Correspondence:
c1 Department of Microbiology, University of Barcelona, Avda Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona, Spain. (Email: abosch@ub.edu)


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