A study to determine the seroprevalence of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection among apparently healthy Nigerian subjects aged between 2 and 80 years is reported. Serum anti-HAV IgM specific antibody was measured in blood samples of 1532 apparently healthy subjects (1138 males and 394 females) attending Dr. Hassan’s Hospital & Diagnostic Centre, Abuja, Nigeria using standard methods. The subjects were clients who visited the hospital for routine health check during a 15-month period from November 2014 to February 2016. The results showed that 1487 (97.06%) were seronegative, 45 (2.94%) were seropositive. There were significantly higher seropositive results for males (2.48%) compared to females (0.46%). The seroprevalence of HAV among the subjects of this study is considerably lower than the previous reports from Nigeria. The lower prevalence in this study could be due to the socioeconomic status of the subjects, who were mainly professionals and their family members. The reduced prevalence could be due to improved food hygiene, immunization and greater awareness among the subjects of the study group. Improvements in hygienic and socio-economic conditions are known factors that result in a decrease in the prevalence of the disease.
Godswill C Okara, Shabihul Hassan and Emmanuel Ifeanyi Obeagu