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Hepatitis A virus in urban sewage from two Mediterranean countries

  • R. M. PINTÓ (a1), D. ALEGRE (a2), A. DOMÍNGUEZ (a3), W. M. EL-SENOUSY (a1), G. SÁNCHEZ (a1), C. VILLENA (a1), M. I. COSTAFREDA (a1), L. ARAGONÈS (a1) and A. BOSCH (a1)...

Molecular methods for the detection and typing of hepatitis A virus (HAV) strains in sewage were applied to determine its distribution in Cairo and Barcelona. The study revealed the occurrence of different patterns of hepatitis A endemicity in each city. The circulating strains characterized, whether in Cairo or Barcelona, were genotype IB. The effects of a child vaccination programme and the increase in the immigrant population on the overall hepatitis A occurrence in Barcelona were evaluated. While vaccination contributed to a significant decrease in the number of clinical cases, the huge recent immigration flow has probably been responsible for the re-emergence of the disease in the last year of study, in the form of small outbreaks among the non-vaccinated population.

Corresponding author
Department of Microbiology, University of Barcelona, Avda Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona, Spain. (Email:
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Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
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