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Use of PCR for detection of faecal HAV as a screening tool in an outbreak of hepatitis A in daycare centres

  • B. O. RUMP (a1), O. VISSER (a1), M. J. M. TE WIERIK (a1), H. VENNEMA (a2) and E. B. FANOY (a1) (a2)...

Summary

Using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect faecal hepatitis A virus (HAV) can be a useful tool for investigating HAV outbreaks, especially in low-endemic countries. We describe the use of faecal HAV PCR as a non-invasive tool for screening. Two Dutch children visiting different daycare centres were diagnosed with hepatitis A in 2011. A systematic contact investigation was started in the daycare centres and relevant contacts were screened. The faecal HAV PCR test was used to screen the children. The employees were screened with a serum IgM. The faecal HAV PCR test proved to be an appropriate tool for screening. The screening of a total of 135 children and employees in the daycare centres resulted in evidence of eight asymptomatic infections and transmission to three related daycare centres. Control measures were taken including immunization. Compared to an epidemiological investigation without screening, 144 extra contacts were vaccinated based on the screening results. This most likely led to improved prevention of expansion of the outbreak.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence: Miss B. O. Rump, Postbus 51, 3700 AB Zeist, The Netherlands. (Email: brump@ggdmn.nl)

References

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