Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection amongst children in Senegal: current prevalence and seroprotection level
Introduction: hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is highly endemic in Senegal. HBV vaccine of all children has been introduced in 1999 and included in the Expanded Programme on Immunization in 2004. The aim of this study was to assess the HBV prevalence and immunity status against HBV amongst children in Senegal.
Methods: between March and August 2016, consecutive children aged from 6 months to 16 years old were recruited in outpatient department of three main children hospitals in Senegal. Serum samples were analyzed for HBV serology (HBsAg, HBcAb, HBsAb) using ARCHITECT analyzer. Children with HBsAb levels ≥ 10 IU/l) were considered as seroprotected against HBV.
Results: during the study period, 295 children fulfilled the criteria for the study and were further analyzed. Three children were HBsAg positive giving a seroprevalence at 1.1% (95% CI: 0.2-3.3), 12/267 (4.5%, 95% CI=2.3-7.7) had positive HBcAb and 226/295 (76.6%, 71.4-81.3) had positive HBsAb including 191 (77.3%, 71.6-82.4) with isolated HBsAb related to previous active immunization. However only 165 children (56%, CI 50-62) had seroprotective HBsAb levels (HBsAb ≥ 10 UI/L) and 63 (21.4, 16.8-26) had a strong seroprotectiondefined by HBsAb ≥ 100 IU/L.
Conclusion: our results suggest that although HBV prevalence has significantly decreased in children in Senegal following a better HBV vaccine coverage, the number of children correctly seroprotected is insufficient (56%). Assessing the levels of