Euroasian journal of hepato-gastroenterology

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VOLUME 9 , ISSUE 2 ( July-December, 2019 ) > List of Articles

Original Article

Surveillance of Hepatitis Viruses in Several Small Islands of Japan by Ship: A Public Health Approach for Elimination of Hepatitis Viruses by 2030

Tomohiro Akao, Morikazu Onji, Keitarou Kawasaki, Takahide Uehara, Yukima Kuwabara, Takashi Nishimoto, Shinji Yamamoto, Jiro Miyaike, Masaki Oomoto, Teruki Miyake

Keywords : Epidemiological survey, Hepatitis viruses, Islands, Japan, Ship-based survey

Citation Information : Akao T, Onji M, Kawasaki K, Uehara T, Kuwabara Y, Nishimoto T, Yamamoto S, Miyaike J, Oomoto M, Miyake T. Surveillance of Hepatitis Viruses in Several Small Islands of Japan by Ship: A Public Health Approach for Elimination of Hepatitis Viruses by 2030. Euroasian J Hepatogastroenterol 2019; 9 (2):57-62.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10018-1304

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 01-08-2017

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2019; The Author(s).


Aim: In 1990, an epidemiological survey by ship in some Japanese islands revealed high prevalence of hepatitis viruses and human T cell leukemia virus (HTLV). A second prevalence study of these viruses were accomplished in 2018, 28 years after initial survey. Analysis of these studies provide insights about strategies of elimination of hepatitis viruses at remote areas. Materials and methods: In 2018, prevalence of hepatitis A virus (HAV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and HTLV was checked in 305 subjects in the islands those covered in 1990's survey. Hepatitis A virus was checked by the presence of anti-HAV IgG in sera; HBV was affirmed when hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in sera. Hepatitis C virus infection was evaluated by the presence of antibody to HCV (anti-HCV) and infection with HTLV was estimated by immunoassay. The methodology of assessment of different hepatitis viruses were optimized on the basis of present scientific knowhow. Results: In 1990, the prevalence of HAV (presence of anti-HAV), HBV (presence of HBsAg), HCV (positivity for anti-HCV), and HTLV was found in 79.3%, 11.1%, 2.2%, and 3.3% of apparently health subjects of the islands, respectively. The prevalence of HAV, HBV, HCV, and HTLV was 47.9%, 4.6%, 1.0%, and 3.0%, respectively, in 2018. A shift of age of infected persons tilted towards right as the days progressed. Conclusion: The study indicates a scenario of elimination of hepatitis viruses in Japan as lower trends of prevalence of HAV, HBV, and HCV have been recorded in 2018 compared with 1990, mainly by preventive measures. The most notable finding is that there are almost no new case below the age of 40 years, indicating an effective containment measure against these viruses.

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