Hepatitis B vaccination in Burkina Faso: prevalence of HBsAg carriage and immune response in children in the western region
Introduction: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains a major health problem in Burkina Faso. To control and prevent HBV infection, Hepatitis B vaccine was introduced in the national expanded program in 2006. In this study, we evaluated the prevalence of HBsAg in children aged under 10 years after one decade of universal hepatitis B vaccination, and the immune response among these children.
Methodology: Between May and October 2015, a cross-sectional study was conducted among children in two primary healthcare centers in the western region of Burkina Faso. Participants were enrolled in Accart-Ville Healthcare Center in Bobo-Dioulasso (urban area) and the Healthcare Center of the village of Djigouera (rural area). Blood samples were collected from all children and analysed for the presence of HBsAg and anti-HBs antibodies (Abs). For HBsAg positive children, blood samples were also taken among their mothers for screening for HBsAg.
Results: A total of 265 children were included in this study. The mean age was 4.4 years. HBsAg was found in 3.4% (9/265) of children. Of the 9 HBsAg positive children, 5 had HBsAg positive mothers. From the 265 children tested for quantification of anti-HBs Ab titer, 219 (82.6%) were fully vaccinated and 135 (61.6%) of them had an anti-HBs ≥ 10 mIU/mL.
Conclusion: Despite a good vaccination coverage (82.6%), a considerable proportion of vaccinated children remains unprotected from HBV infection. That emphasizes the need for further strengthening of the vaccination program through implementing the birth dose of HBV vaccine as recommended by WHO.
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