This study was performed to determine the incidence and seroprevalence of

This study was performed to determine the incidence and seroprevalence of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infections in young soldiers in the Republic of Korea Army. The overall anti-HAV IgG seropositive rate was 2% (4/200 95 CI 0.6 Given the changing epidemiology of the disease and the associated increase in morbidity it was suggested that this routine HAV vaccination for Korean military personnel might be necessary. Keywords: Hepatitis A Incidence Military Personnel Seroprevalence Moxonidine INTRODUCTION Viral hepatitis is usually a major public health problem throughout the world. Although hepatitis A computer virus (HAV) contamination is usually a self-limited disease the infection in adults causes significant morbidity resulting in long absences from work for several weeks possible hospitalization and occasional mortality resulting from acute fulminant hepatitis (1 2 Contamination rates have declined with better hygiene practice and public sanitation but remain heterogeneous across geographic and socioeconomic strata (1 2 Hepatitis A has become a major cause of acute viral hepatitis in young adults in Korea since 1996 (3-7). Korea seems to be a country in transition from a high to low endemic region and faces the paradox of increasing disease burden with decreasing disease incidence. The current national immunization guide recommends Moxonidine HAV vaccination for individuals at increased risk of contamination or its complications (3 4 The guideline also states that a universal immunization program should be considered but further discussion is needed Moxonidine (3 4 Korea has a draft system and the military has been especially vigilant for viral hepatitis since active disease not only impairs an individual’s military readiness but also can Moxonidine threaten a large number of troops. Military personnel are considered to have a higher risk for hepatitis A than the civilian populace (8). However there are no data available regarding HAV contamination in Korean military personnel. Thus the goal of this study was to Moxonidine determine the incidence rate and the prevalence of antibody to hepatitis A in young soldiers in the Republic of Korea (ROK) Army. MATERIALS AND METHODS The database of the Armed Forces Medical Command (Defense Medical Information System; DEMIS) was reviewed to identify the number of hepatitis A cases reported. In the ROK Army it is mandatory to report individual cases of communicable diseases including viral hepatitis to the Department of Preventive Medicine in the Armed Forces Medical Command (9). We analyzed the data of hepatitis A cases Rabbit polyclonal to KCTD1. that had been submitted from January 2000 to December 2004. The annual incidence rate was defined as cases per 100 0 persons per year among approximately 500 0 soldiers. The cases Moxonidine were defined as epidemic cases when more than two cases had occurred in the same military unit within a 4-week period. We retreived data from electronic medical records (DEMIS) and obtained baseline demographic and clinical information including age gender clinical symptoms and laboratory findings. In addition we planned an additional study in order to evaluate the seroprevalence of HAV contamination. Serum samples were obtained from randomly selected subjects among those who had been admitted to the Armed Forces Capital Hospital from September 2005 to February 2006. Patients who are over 25 yr aged chronic disease cases viral hepatitis cases and females were excluded. We therefore planned to obtain a specific study group that included healthy young military personnel. Informed consent was obtained. Anti-HAV IgG and anti-HBs IgG antibodies were measured by AXSYM (Abbott Laboratories Wiesbaden Germany). The test was performed in an automated format and cut-off values were established according to the instructions by the manufacturer. RESULTS A total of 147 cases of hepatitis A were reported in young Korean soldiers from January 2000 through December 2004. Of these 64 (43.5%) cases were reported as epidemic cases and the remaining 83 (56.5%) were reported as sporadic cases (Table 1). The mean annual incidence of hepatitis A was 5.9 per 100 0 persons based on the cases reported among approximately 500 0 soldiers. The annual incidence rates were 7.4 per 100 0 persons in 2000 1.6 in 2001 4.4 in 2002 9.8 in.