This study aimed to assess the immune status of the Korean population against hepatitis A virus (HAV). Residual serum samples from 2008 to 2010 were collected from diagnostic laboratories and a total of 1,872 samples were analyzed. Anti-HAV seroprevalence was 57.3% in subjects aged 1-4 yr, 69.8% at 5-9 yr and decreased to 38.8% at 10-14 yr, 13.0% at 15-19 yr, and 11.7% at 20-29 yr. Seroprevalence increased with increasing age: 52.2% at 30-39 yr, 83.2% at 40-49 yr, 81.4% at 50-59 yr, 93.2% at 60-69 yr, and 95.1% at 70-79 yr. The most susceptible age group consisted of subjects aged 10-29 yr, especially those aged 20-29 yr. This pattern is markedly different from that in the past 3 decades, where the most susceptible group had consisted of children aged less than 10 yr and almost all subjects aged more than 20 yr had developed anti-HAV antibodies. Because of improvements in hygiene and introduction of hepatitis A vaccine, the age demographic of the susceptible population has shifted. These data are important for creating new prevention measures, including vaccination policies, to prevent and control outbreaks of hepatitis A in Korea.
- Hepatitis A
- Seroepidemiologic studies