Hepatitis A, B and C seropositivity among first-year healthcare students in western Turkey: a seroprevalence study

Açıkgöz A., Çımrın D., Kızıldağ S., Esen N., Balcı P., Sayıner A. A.

BMC INFECTIOUS DISEASES, vol.20, no.1, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1186/s12879-020-05247-5
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Seroprevalence, Healthcare students, MEDICAL-STUDENTS, NURSING-STUDENTS, UNIVERSITY, VIRUS, ANTIBODY, SCHOOL, ADOLESCENTS
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Background The risk of viral hepatitis among healthcare students (HCSs) is greater than that among the general population. Therefore, this study was conducted to investigate the seroprevalence of the hepatitis A virus (HAV), hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) among first-year HCSs at a university in Turkey and as a secondary objective, to determine the factors associated with HAV and HBV seropositivity. Methods This cross-sectional study was performed in first-year HCSs in Izmir, western Turkey. Data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire including items on sociodemographic characteristics, medical history, and hygiene. A total of 650 HCSs were tested for the HAV, HBV and HCV markers. Categorical variables were compared using the chi-square test. The association between independent variables and anti-HAV seropositivity and anti-HBs seropositivity was assessed by multinomial logistic regression analysis. Results The overall frequency of total anti-HAV seropositivity was 34.9%. HBsAg, total anti-HBc and anti-HBs seropositivity were found in 0.3, 1.2 and 93.7% of samples, respectively. All of the HCSs were negative for anti-HCV. Total anti-HAV seropositivity was found to be 1.73 times higher in those >= 21 years old, and it was 1.61 times higher in those who perceived their economic status to be average and 2.75 times higher in those who perceived their economic status to be low. Total anti-HAV seropositivity was found to be 4.37 times higher in those who lived in provinces with intermediate human development index levels. Total anti-HBs seropositivity was found to be 2.48 times higher in those <= 20 years old, and it was 2.13 times higher in those who perceived their economic status to be average. Conclusions Approximately two out of three HCSs were susceptible to HAV infection. Since HCSs are at high risk for HAV infection, they should be vaccinated before medical clerkships begin. Our results indicate that there is a high prevalence of anti-HBs seropositivity among HCSs. This result may be largely attributed to the implementation of a successful vaccination program in Turkey since 1998.