JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Hepatitis D virus infection in the Western Brazilian Amazon - far from a vanishing disease.

INTRODUCTION: A decline in hepatitis D virus (HDV) occurrence was described in Europe and Asia. We estimated HDV prevalence in the Brazilian Amazon following hepatitis B vaccination.

METHODS: This is a cross-sectional survey of HDV measured by total antibodies to HDV (anti-HD T).

RESULTS: HDV prevalence was 41.9% whiting HBsAg carries and was associated with age (PR = 1.96; 95% CI 1.12-3.42; p = 0.01), hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection (PR = 4.38; 95% CI 3.12-6.13; p < 0.001), and clinical hepatitis (PR =1.44; 95% CI 1.03-2.00; p = 0.03). Risk factors were related to HDV biology, clinical or demographic aspects such as underlying HBV infection, clinical hepatitis and age.

CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrated that HDV infection continues to be an important health issue in the Brazilian Amazon and that the implementation of the HBV vaccination in rural Lábrea had little or no impact on the spread of HDV. This shows that HDV has not yet disappeared from HBV hyperendemic areas and reminding that it is far from being a vanishing disease in the Amazon basin.

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