Brown, Michelle G.; Lindo, John F.; King, S. D.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Microbiology
Investigations of the epidemiology of infections with hepatitis A virus in Jamaica
Annals of Tropical Medical Parasitology
Date of Publication
Between January 1995 and August 1998, a study was conducted to elucidate the epidemiology of hepatitis A virus (HAV) in Jamaica. Participants were recruited from six sites across the island. The potential risk factors for transmission which were studied included age of the individual, gender, residence (urban v. rural area), sanitary facilities (flush toilet v. pit) and source of domestic water (indoor plumbing v. other). There were 128 male subjects and 211 female, aged 3- 90 years. The mean ages of the males and females were 24.9 and 25.6 years, respectively. The seroprevalence of HAV in the study population, estimated by ELISA, was 59.9%. Logistic regression indicated that age (P < 0.001) and source of domestic water (P = 0.006) were the major contributors to exposure to HAV. The rate of exposure to the virus was seen to increase with age. By the age of 10 years, 30% of children had been exposed, and almost 100% of the oldest subjects were seropositive. Rates of exposure to HAV were higher among households which had external sources of water, including standpipes, rivers and tanks, than those with indoor plumbing. Although the seroprevalence of HAV in Jamaica is similar to that seen in Developing Countries, the age- related pattern of exposure mirrors the pattern seen in Developed countries.....