In East Asian countries, the prevalence of viral hepatitis has been reported to be high, but precise data for each country remained to be investigated. Here we report the prevalence of viral markers of hepatitis B and hepatitis C in outpatient volunteers visiting two general hospitals in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. One hundred fifty sera were tested for HBs antigen (HBsAg), anti-HBs, and anti-HCV by Counting Immunoassay. The backgrounds of groups of patients positive for HBsAg and negative for anti-HCV (group 1; n = 18), negative for HBsAg and positive for anti-HCV (group 2; n = 47), positive for both HBsAg and anti-HCV (group 3; n = 25), and negative for both HBsAg and anti-HCV (group 4; n = 60) were compared. The prevalence of HBsAg, anti-HBs, and anti-HCV in this study group was 28.7%, 39.3% and 48.0%, respectively. Subjects of group 1 (mean +/- SD; 31.3 +/- 12.4 years old) were younger than those of group 4 (39.2 +/- 14.3; p < 0.05), while patients of group 2 (48.7 +/- 15.5) were older than those of group 4 (p < 0.01). More group 2 subjects had histories of jaundice (23/47) than those of group 4 (15/60; p < 0.05). Transaminase levels were higher in group 1 (median (range) IU/l of AST, ALT; 29 (13-95), 32 (9-144) and group 3 (25 (15-187), 22 (8-185)) than in group 4 (18 (9-13), 15 (6-133); p < 0.05, p < 0.005 vs. group 1, and p < 0.005, p < 0.001 vs. group 3, respectively). In HBsAg-negative subjects, those with higher titers of anti-HCV (cut-off index > 15) were older, and had more histories of jaundice and higher levels of AST and ALT than anti-HCV negative subjects (50.3 +/- 14.8 vs. 39.1 +/- 14.3, p < 0.01; 15/28 vs. 15/60, p < 0.01; 22.5 (12-127) vs. 18 (9-93), p < 0.05; 20.5 (7-362) vs. 15 (6-133), p < 0.05; respectively). In conclusion, this preliminary surveillance for hepatitis B and C viral markers showed that both hepatitis viruses are prevalent and may cause liver diseases in Mongolia. A nation-wide survey for these viruses should be urged and preventive measures should be taken to suppress the spread and development of liver diseases in this country.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Kansenshogaku zasshi. The Journal of the Japanese Association for Infectious Diseases|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 1998|
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