Seroprevalence and Risk Factors of Hepatitis B and C in Riverside Families of the Brazilian Amazon

Amanda Alves Fecury, Universidade Federal do Pará, Belém, Brazil

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Abstract: Viral hepatitis is a serious public health challenge worldwide. In Brazil few studies describe viral hepatitis B and C among riverside Amazonian communities. The objectives of this study were to determine the seroprevalence of hepatitis B and C in the Amazon River community of Pacuí Island, state of Pará, and to investigate the principal risk factors to which this community is exposed. The study evaluated blood samples from 80 families, providing 181 volunteers of both sexes above 18 years of age who answered an epidemiological questionnaire. Serological markers were tested with commercial ELISA kits for detecting HBsAg, total anti-HBc, anti-HBs and anti-HCV. In patients who were seroreactive for HCV, other methods like RT-PCR and a line probe assay was performed to identify viral genotype. In analyzing serological markers for hepatitis B, the rates of seroprevalence were 1.1% for total anti-HBc and 19.3% for anti-HBs; however, positive HBsAg was not detected in these samples. A seroprevalence of 8.8% was found for Hepatitis C; of this, 62.5% had viral RNA-HCV. Analysis of key risk factors revealed lack of education or interest in using condoms, sharing of nail shears, and use of illicit drugs, beside some people reports cases of hepatitis B and C in their family. These factors were consistent with the spread of HBV or HCV infection in Pacuí Island. This study revealed that vaccination coverage against HBV is low in this community. Therefore, our observation suggests need for an effective vaccination program for this Island.

About the Presenter: 

Amanda Alves Fecury is a graduate in biomedicine from the Federal University of Pará and a specialisfecuryt in Microbiology with an MS degree in Tropical Disease from the same institution. Currently a doctoral candidate, she collaborates on research in clinical pathology of tropical diseases with an emphasis on viral hepatitis, especially in riverine communities.  E:mail:

Presented on: 
April 21, 2011
Symposium 2011
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