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Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical
Print version ISSN 0037-8682
BRASIL, Leila Melo et al. Prevalence of hepatitis B virus markers within household contacts in the state of Amazonas. Rev. Soc. Bras. Med. Trop. [online]. 2003, vol.36, n.5, pp. 565-570. ISSN 0037-8682. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0037-86822003000500004.
The aim of our investigation was to evaluate, with a prevalence study, the modes of transmission of Hepatitis B virus (HBV), within infected subjects and their household contacts in the state of Amazon, western Brazilian Amazon. We studied 97 index cases and 258 household contacts. Out of the 258 household contacts of HBV, 51.6% had serological markers of a past infection, 12.0% signs of active infection, suggesting that the virus circulates within household members. The high prevalence among siblings (23.6%) demonstrates the importance of personal contact in the transmission of this virus. Another indirect indicator of intra-familial transmission was the high prevalence of HBV markers within contacts of a fulminant hepatitis. The vertical transmission of HBV in our region may or may not occur, but if it does it as a rare event. Our results demonstrate the importance of the presence of HBV, and demand other investigations to clarify the inter-familial transmission of these viruses in our region.
Keywords : Hepatitis B virus; Sexual transmission; Liver diseases; Familial pattern; Modes of transmission.