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Jaisli, S; Mayorga, O; Flores, N; de Berti, S; Frosner, G; Herzog, C; Zwahlen, M; Herzog, SA.
Clinical, serological and epidemiological features of hepatitis A in Leon, Nicaragua
PEERJ. 2021; 9: e11516 Doi: 10.7717/peerj.11516 [OPEN ACCESS]
Web of Science PubMed PUBMED Central FullText FullText_MUG


Co-authors Med Uni Graz
Herzog Sereina Annik

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Background and Objectives. To monitor and document the endemicity and disease burden of acute hepatitis A in the area of an ongoing vaccine effectiveness study in Leon, Nicaragua. Methods. At community health centres in Leon, all children, adolescents and young adults presenting with jaundice and/or other clinical signs of hepatitis were offered free serologic screening (hepatitis A, B and C) and blood tests for liver enzymes and bilirubin. Clinical and socioeconomic data were collected with a structured questionnaire. Diagnosis of acute hepatitis A was confirmed by anti-HAV IgM testing. Using logistic regression we compared the characteristics and living conditions of acute hepatitis A cases with those of non-cases. Results. Of 557 eligible subjects enrolled between May 2006 and March 2010, 315 (56.6%) were diagnosed with hepatitis A, 80.6% of them <= 10 years and five >18 years of age. No severe cases were encountered. Apart from jaundice (95.6%) and other signs of hepatitis A (fever, pale stool, dark urine, nausea, vomiting, anorexia), two thirds of patients had moderately raised liver enzymes. Cases occurred throughout the year, with highest incidences from August to March. Poor sanitary conditions and crowding were the main risk factors. Conclusions. In the study area, hepatitis A is still highly endemic in young and school age children living in low socioeconomic conditions. There are, however, first indications that the endemicity level is shifting from high to high-intermediate.

Find related publications in this database (Keywords)
Hepatitis A
Clinical features
Risk factors
Central America
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