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Hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus infections in United States-bound refugees from Asia and Africa

TitleHepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus infections in United States-bound refugees from Asia and Africa
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsMixson-Hayden, T, Lee, D, Ganova-Raeva, L, Drobeniuc, J, Stauffer, WM, Teshale, E, Kamili, S
JournalAm J Trop Med HygAm J Trop Med Hyg
Volume90
Pagination1014-20
Date PublishedJun
ISBN Number1476-1645 (Electronic)<br/>0002-9637 (Linking)
Accession Number24732462
KeywordsAdolescent, Adult, Africa/ethnology, Aged, Aged, 80 and Over, Asia/ethnology, DNA, Viral/blood, Female, Genotype, Hepacivirus/genetics/ isolation & purification, Hepatitis B Surface Antigens/ immunology, Hepatitis B virus/genetics/immunology/ isolation & purification, Hepatitis B/ epidemiology/virology, Hepatitis C/ epidemiology/virology, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Phylogeny, Prevalence, Refugees, RNA, Viral/blood, United States/epidemiology, Young Adult
AbstractThe aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of active hepatitis B and C virus infections among refugees from various countries in Africa and Asia. Pre-admission serum samples collected during 2002-2007 from refugees originating from Bhutan (N = 755), Myanmar (N = 1076), Iraq (N = 1137), Laos (N = 593), Thailand (N = 622), and Somalia (N = 707) were tested for hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA and hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA. The HBV DNA (genotypes A, B, C, and G) was detected in 12.1% of samples negative for anti-HBs. Highest HBV prevalence was found among Hmong; lowest among Bhutanese. The HCV RNA (genotypes 1a, 1b, 1c, 3b, 6n, and 6m) was detected in 1.3% of the samples. Highest HCV prevalence was found among Hmong from Thailand; lowest among Iraqis. Screening specific refugee groups at high risk for viral hepatitis infections will identify infected individuals who could benefit from referral to care and treatment and prevent further transmissions.
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