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Challenges in Management of Hepatitis A Virus Epidemiological Transition in Mexico

Jorge L. Trujillo-Ochoa, Oliver Viera-Segura, Nora A. Fierro

Abstract

Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is the most common cause of acute viral hepatitis worldwide. The virus is mainly transmitted via the fecaloral route and, the incidence of infection is closely related to low socioeconomic conditions and poor sanitation. Mexico, previously categorized an area of high endemicity for HAV infection, is undergoing epidemiological transition. However, a limited number of HAV-related scientific reports regarding to virus burden is available. According to the local government health agency (Secretaría de Salud, SSA in Spanish), from 1994 to 2017 a reduction in the incidence of hepatitis related to HAV has been reported. However, HAV is still the most common cause of viral hepatitis in the country, and the pediatric population is the most prone to be infected with this virus. The analysis of the SSA data reveals that most of the reported cases from 1994 to 2017 were found in highly industrialized states. This information contradicts the documented relationship between the highest prevalence of infection and the lowest socio-economic status, and supports the necessity of viral detection and notification of HAV cases. Moreover, in spite that four HAV vaccines are available in Mexico and universal vaccination has been shown to be beneficial in developing countries in terms of declining endemicity, HAV vaccination is not mandatory in Mexico. In this review, preventive strategies including appropriate diagnosis, vaccination and public health policies on the basis of the epidemiologic status of HAV in Mexico are discussed.

Key words. Hepatitis A virus, Mexico, Risk groups, HAV-surveillance

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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