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A seroepidemiologic study of hepatitis B in a rural area in Israel

, : A seroepidemiologic study of hepatitis B in a rural area in Israel. American Journal of Epidemiology 116(3): 456-462

The prevalence rates of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), antibody to the surface antigen (anti-HBs), and antibody to the core antigen (anti-HBc) were studied in a rural population near Jerusalem in 1979-1980. Sera were systematically collected from 1411 individuals (33.0% of the total population) living in 10 villages populated by five Jewish ethnic groups (Cochins from India, Yemenites, Moroccans, Kurds from Iraq, and Ashkenazis). Evidence of existing or previous infection with hepatitis B virus was detected in 446 individuals (31.6%); of these, 3.3% were carriers of HBsAg, 24.1% were positive for anti-HBs, and 4.3% were positive for anti-HBc alone. Analysis in a log linear model revealed increasing hepatitis B virus infection with age and higher carrier rates among males. Hepatitis B virus infection was significantly lower among the Cochins and Ashkenazis, regardless of place of birth. Variation in the hepatitis B virus infection rate in the villages was completely accounted for by differences among the ethnic groups. These ethnic differences probably reflect the endemicity of hepatitis B virus infection in the various world regions from which the ethnic groups originate.


PMID: 7124713

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