Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 February 1999
We studied the seroprevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and GB virus-C (GBV-C) infections in 348 Siberian natives who lived in the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia. Of 348 samples studied, the seroprevalence of HBsAg and anti-HBs were 11·8% (41 of 348 samples) and 35·9% (125 of 348 samples), respectively. The prevalence of HCV infection was 1·4% (5 of 348 samples), and that of GBV-C RNA, using RT–PCR methods, was 7·5% (26 of 348 samples). In Siberia, the prevalences of HBV and GBV-C infections were about tenfold higher than those in Japan. The prevalence of HBsAg in subjects under 50 years of age was significantly higher than that in those over 50 years old (P<0·05). Because HBV infection is highly endemic in Siberia, we propose that the community-based mass immunization must be conducted as soon as possible in this area.
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