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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Cost analysis of two strategies for preventing hepatitis A virus infection in Spanish travellers to developing countries

J M Bayas, A González, A Vilella, M San-Martín, M J Bertran, C Adell
Epidemiology and Infection 2001, 127 (2): 347-51
11693513
Our objectives were to assess the prevalence of anti-hepatitis A (HAV) antibodies in Spanish travellers to developing countries and to carry out a cost analysis to allow the comparison of two vaccination strategies. Adult subjects were selected from among travellers to developing countries. Information was obtained on age, sex, destination, previous vaccination against HAV and having received immunoglobulin. Blood specimens were obtained for anti-HAV antibody determination. A total of 485 travellers were studied. The prevalence of anti-HAV antibody was 30.5% (95% CI 26-35). Antibody prevalence was inversely correlated with age: 9.8% in 18-25 years of age, rising to 75.4% in those 41-55 years of age. Cost analysis determined that the critical value of prevalence for vaccination with HAV vaccine was 37.5%. It was concluded that the youngest Spanish travellers lack anti-HAV antibodies. Vaccination without screening in those < or = 35 years of age and screening before vaccination for those > 35 years, are the preferred alternatives.

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