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Horizontal hepatitis B virus transmission through non-sexual close contact in Turkish chronic hepatitis B patients living outside of Turkey

Journal Volume 81 - 2018
Issue Fasc.4 - Original articles
Author(s) Ö.M. Koc, G. Robaeys, B. Yildirim, D. Posthouwer, N. Hens, G.H. Koek
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(1) Department of Internal Medicine, Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, the Netherlands ; (2) School of Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism (NUTRIM), University Maastricht, Maastricht, the Netherlands ; (3) Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg, Genk, Belgium ; (4) Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences, Hasselt University, Hasselt, Belgium ; (5) Department of Hepatology, UZ Leuven, Leuven, Belgium ; (6) Department of Gastroenterology, Ondokuz Mayis University, School of Medicine, Samsun, Turkey ; (7) Interuniversity Institute for Biostatistics and statistical Bioinformatics (I-Biostat), Hasselt University, Hasselt, Belgium ; (8) Centre for Health Economic Research and Modelling Infectious Diseases, VaxinfectiO. University of Antwerp, Antwerpen, Belgium ; (9) Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Maastricht University Medical Centre, Maastricht, the Netherlands ; (10) Department of Surgery, University Hospital of the RWTH, Aachen, Germany.

Background & Aims : Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a global threat and with the growing cultural diversity in Western Europe, knowledge on routes of infection in order to decrease HBV spreading is essential. This study assessed the risk of horizontal transmission through non-sexual close contact in the chronic hepatitis B (CHB) population in Maastricht (the Netherlands) and Genk (Belgium), with a main focus on the differences between ethnic groups. Methods : In this multicenter retrospective study, 166 CHB patients, who were still under follow-up between December 2009 to December 2014, were recruited from the Hepatology Outpatient Departments of two hospitals, one in Maastricht and one in Genk. Ethnicity (defined as country of origin (COO)) and routes of transmission were collected from all patients. Results : The CHB population in Maastricht and Genk consisted of 98 and 68 patients, respectively. In Maastricht, 31% were of Dutch and 16% of Chinese origin. In Genk, mainly Belgian (15%) and Turkish (50%) patients were included. The percentage of horizontal transmission in the total study cohort was 9%. Moreover, the COO groups Dutch/Belgian (n=40), Turkish (n=38) and Chinese (n=18) differed in the number of cases infected by horizontal transmission (4%, 30% and 6%, p=0.030). Conclusions : Although the prevalence of horizontal transmission in the total study cohort is low, non-sexual close contact may play a role in the migrant population, particularly the Turkish. This should be an important public health target with respect to the prevention of HBV spreading. (Acta gastroenterol. belg., 2018, 81, 503-508).

© Acta Gastro-Enterologica Belgica.
PMID 30645919