Hepatitis A vaccination in chronic liver disease: is it really required in a tropical country like India?

Joshi, N.; Rao, S.; Kumar, A.; Patil, S.; Rani, S.
April 2007
Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology;Apr2007, Vol. 25 Issue 2, p137
Academic Journal
journal article
Vaccination against hepatitis A virus (HAV) has been recommended in patients with chronic liver disease to prevent any decompensation due to superinfection. This may not hold good in high endemic areas for hepatitis A like India. The aim of this study was to find out the seroprevalence of anti-HAV antibodies in patients with chronic liver disease and to justify the need for vaccination against hepatitis A virus in these patients. One hundred and thirty three consecutive patients with cirrhosis of liver attending Gastroenterology department of our Institute between June 2004 and June 2005 were enrolled. Seventy-five healthy persons were taken as controls. The diagnosis of cirrhosis was based on clinical profile, biochemical, radiological (ultrasound abdomen) and endoscopic findings. The etiology of cirrhosis was based on presence of viral markers, history of significant alcohol consumption, autoimmune and metabolic workup. All patients and controls were tested for antiHAV (total) antibodies using commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits. Data from patients and control group were compared by unpaired 't' test and Chi square test. All subjects were in the age group 11 to 75 years. Etiology of chronic liver disease was as follows: HBV- 29.3%, HCV - 14.28%, HBV+HCV dual -1.5%, alcohol- 21.8%, Cryptogenic -23.3%, Wilson"s Disease -1.5% and Budd chiari -1.5%. The prevalence of HAV was 93.2% in patients with cirrhosis of liver and 94.6% in controls. The prevalence was almost similar irrespective of the etiology. In view of high seroprevalence of HAV antibodies among cirrhotic patients in our study and the high cost of the vaccine, the hepatitis A vaccination may not be routinely required in this part of the world.


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