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HBV and HCV infection among non-European Union immigrants in North-East Italy

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 August 1998

M. CHIARAMONTE
Affiliation:
Department of Gastroenterology, University of Padua, Azienda Ospedaliera Via Giustiniani 2, 35100 Padua, Italy
A. PUPO
Affiliation:
Public Health Department, Treviso Local Health District, Treviso
T. MENEGON
Affiliation:
Institute of Hygiene, University of Padua
V. BALDO
Affiliation:
Institute of Hygiene, University of Padua
R. MALATESTA
Affiliation:
Public Health Department, Treviso Local Health District, Treviso
R. TRIVELLO
Affiliation:
Institute of Hygiene, University of Padua
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Abstract

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The status of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among non-European Union (non-EU) immigrants in North-East Italy was evaluated. Among the 1683 individuals tested the prevalence of HBsAg was 8·9% (150 subjects) and of HBV antibodies (anti-HBc with/without anti-HBs) was 38·9% (654 subjects). The distribution of HBV serological markers showed significant differences according to region of origin; the highest prevalence of infection (76·9%) and carriage (16·1%) was found in immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa. Among the 933 individuals screened for HCV infection, prevalence of antibody was much lower (0·9%) than that observed in the Italian general population (3·2–12·6%). The large number of HBV carriers among immigrants could increase the number of new adult infections due to life-style habits or professional risks in the host population. In contrast, the risk of HCV spread from non-EU immigrants is very low.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 1998 Cambridge University Press
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