Department of Paediatric and Department Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok 10500, Thailand.
There are very few published reports on the prevalence of hepatitis A virus in Thailand. This paper is to report the prevalence of the antibody to hepatitis A virus (anti HAV) in secondary school children of different age groups in Bangkok. One hundred seventy two serum specimens from students (age 10-19 years, from M1-M6) were tested for anti HAV by ELISA. The antibodies were detected in 25, 27.3, 31, 30 and 50 percent of children who were in the age groups of 10-11, 12-13, 14-15, 16-17 and 18-19 years respectively. Children with positive anti HAV had histories of jaundice or liver disease more than children without anti HAV. (p < 0.05) The members of the families in both groups (with and without anti HAV) were not significantly different (6.8 + 3.2 vs 7.0 + 2.9)
According to our data, two-thirds of secondary school children had no immunity to hepatitis A virus. When hepatitis A vaccine is available, these subjects may be considered a target population for vaccination for disease control.
Keywords: Hepatitis A antibody; Secondary school children