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Socioeconomic correlates of antibody levels to enteric pathogens among Israeli adolescents

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 June 2006

T. HASIN
Affiliation:
Medical Department, Hadassah Mt Scopus University Hospital, Jerusalem, Israel Medical Corps, Israel Defense Force, Military Post 02149
R. DAGAN
Affiliation:
Pediatric Infectious Diseases Unit, Soroka University Medical Center and the Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel
G. BOUTBOUL
Affiliation:
Medical Corps, Israel Defense Force, Military Post 02149 Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Israel
E. DERAZNE
Affiliation:
Medical Corps, Israel Defense Force, Military Post 02149
O. ATIAS
Affiliation:
Pediatric Infectious Diseases Unit, Soroka University Medical Center and the Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel Department of Pediatrics, Soroka University Medical Center and the Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel
D. COHEN
Affiliation:
Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Israel
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Abstract

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We examined the association between socioeconomic status and the level of serum antibodies to selected faeco-orally transmitted pathogens among Israeli adolescents. Random samples of eighty volunteers aged 12–15 years from high (HSL), medium (MSL) and low (LSL) standard of living towns were included in the study. Serum samples were examined by radioimmunoassay for HAV and by in-house-developed ELISA systems for IgA and IgG antibody levels against Shigella sonnei, S. flexneri, E. coli O157[ratio ]H7 lipopolysacchride and Cryptosporidium parvum antigens. Seropositivity to HAV was highest (98·8%) in the LSL towns and lowest (25%) in the HSL towns, showing a statistically significant linear trend. Antibody levels to the other enteropathogens had gender variation, with higher titres in females. Significantly lower titres in the HSL towns were found for: IgA anti-S. sonnei in females (P<0·001); IgG anti-S. sonnei in females (P=0·024) and males (P=0·033); IgG anti-S. flexneri in females (P=0·016). Inverse linear association with socioeconomic status was found for IgA anti-C. parvum in females (P<0·001); IgA anti-E. coli O157[ratio ]H7 in females (P<0·001) and males (P=0·024). A statistically significant association between HAV seropositivity and higher titres of IgA anti-S. sonnei and E. coli O157[ratio ]H7 was shown. In conclusion, exposure to enteropathogens transmitted via the faecal–oral route in communities of lower socioeconomic status is reflected in a higher prevalence of lifelong lasting antibodies to HAV, and higher levels of antibodies to bacterial and protozoan enteropathogens. Among females, the levels of specific serum antibodies are higher and more strongly associated with low socioeconomic status.

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Research Article
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© 2006 Cambridge University Press
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