Viral hepatitis, syphilis, HIV, and tuberculosis infections in prisons have been identified globally as a public health problem. Tuberculosis (TB) and viral hepatitis co-infection may increase the risk of anti-tuberculosis treatment-induced hepatotoxicity, leading to the frequent cause of discontinuation of the first-line anti-tuberculosis drugs. Therefore, the aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate the epidemiological features of HCV, HBV, syphilis and HIV infections among bacteriologically confirmed tuberculosis prisoners in Campo Grande (MS), Central Brazil. The participants who agreed to participate (n = 279) were interviewed and tested for the presence of active or current HCV, HBV, syphilis and HIV infections. The prevalence of HCV exposure was 4.7% (13/279; 95% CI 2.2–7.1). HCV RNA was detected in 84.6% (11/13) of anti-HCV positive samples. Out of 279 participants, 19 (6.8%; 95% CI 4.4–10.4) were HIV co-infected, 1.4% (4/279, 95% CI 0.5–3.8) had chronic hepatitis B virus (HBsAg positive) and 9.3% (26/279, 95% CI 6.4–13.4) had serological marker of exposure to hepatitis B virus (total anti-HBc positive). The prevalence of lifetime syphilis infection (anti-
positive) was 10% (28/279, 95% CI 7.0–14.2) and active syphilis (VDRL ≥ 1/8 titre) was 5% (14/279, 95% CI 2.9–8.3). The prevalence of TB/HCV co-infection among prisoners with HIV (15.8%) was higher than among HIV-non-infected prisoners (3.8%;
<0.05). These results highlight the importance of hepatitis testing among prisoners with bacteriologically confirmed case of TB who can be more effectively and safely treated in order to reduce the side effects of hepatotoxic anti-TB drugs.
To evaluate the epidemiological and molecular features of HBV infection among recyclable waste collectors. Methods: The participants were recruited from the dumping ground and recycling cooperatives in Campo Grande, Brazil, and were screened for hepatitis B and C, and HIV serological markers by ELISA, confirmed by PCR. Results: Among 278 participants, 63.7% (95% CI: 58.0-69.3) were considered susceptible to HBV infection. The prevalence rate of HBV exposure was 10.1% (95% CI: 6.5-13.6) and 0.4% (95% CI: 0.1-0.6) were chronic carriers. Age !45 years (AOR = 7.15), history of homosexual contact (AOR = 5.29), tattoo (AOR = 4.92) and history of surgery (AOR = 2.89) were factors associated with ever infection. Age 18-25 years (AOR = 4.63), educational level !9 years (AOR = 1.98) and knowledge about HBV transmission (AOR = 3.08) were associated with serological HBV vaccination like profile (26.2%; 95% CI: 21.1-31.4). Conclusions: Despite the availability and efficacy of HBV vaccine, this study found high HBV exposure and proportion of susceptible adults in a low endemic area. Vaccination and screening campaigns using accessible language to the economically disadvantaged populations can reduce the number of people susceptible to HBV infection.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is still a concern in vulnerable populations. in a study performed by our team in 1999-2003 in two Afro-Brazilian communities, Furnas dos Dionísios (FD) and São Benedito (SB), high prevalence rates of HBV exposure (42.7% and 16.0%, respectively), high susceptibility to HBV (55.3% and 63.0%) and low HBV vaccination like profile rates (2.0% and 21.0%) were observed. In 2015-2016, we reassessed HBV epidemiological and molecular features in these two communities to verify the impact of health actions adopted in the last years. the prevalence rate of HBV exposure among the enrolled 331 subjects was 35.3% in FD and 21.8% in SB. HBV chronic infection (5.8% in FD, 4.9% in SB) remained high. The rate of HBV vaccination like profile increased from 10.7% to 43.5% (2.0% to 45.9% in FD, 21.0% to 39.5% in SB) while susceptible subjects declined from 58.9% to 26.3% (55.3% to 18.8% in FD, 63.0% to 38.7% in SB). Among 18 HBsAg positive samples, 13 were successfully sequenced (pre-S/S region). Phylogenetic analyses showed that all isolates belong to HBV subgenotype A1, clustering within the Asian-American clade. Despite the maintenance of high prevalence rate of HBV exposure over these 13 years of surveillance, significant improvements were observed, reinforcing the importance of facilitated HBV vaccination to difficult-to-access population to close gaps in prevention. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is still a major public health issue worldwide despite the availability of an effective vaccine and potent antiviral treatments 1-3. An estimated 2 billion people have been infected with HBV and 257 million people are chronic carriers of the virus. Serious complications of chronic HBV infection such as cirrhosis, liver failure, and hepatocellular carcinoma accounted for 887 000 deaths in 2015 4,5. Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) is the main HBV clinical marker indicating acute or chronic infection and its prevalence is used to categorize HBV endemicity as low, intermediate low, intermediate high, or high 2,6. Even though Brazil is now a low endemic country, it has some areas with high HBV prevalence, especially in the Amazon basin, some counties of Southern Brazil and, isolated communities 7-9. In Brazil, HBV immunization was first implemented in 1989 for infants in the western area of the Amazonas State and since 1998 HBV vaccine has been incorporated into the immunization schedule for infants as a national policy 10. Nowadays, HBV vaccination is available to all individuals regardless of age or risk group, being considered satisfactory and effective, moving Brazil from moderate HBV endemicity to low-endemicity classification 7. Although Brazilian multi-center population-based studies have observed a decrease in HBV infection prevalence in the last decades, especially among children and young adults 10,11 , vaccination is still a challenge in difficult-to-access populations and therefore, observations cannot be extrapolated to rural or vulnerable populations 7 .
Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) has worldwide distribution and is considered endemic in southwestern Japan. HTLV-1 infection has been associated with adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL) and HTLV-1-associated myelopathy/tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP) besides other diseases. This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the prevalence, risk factors and molecular characterization of HTLV-1, among the world’s largest population of Japanese immigrants and their descendants outside of Japan, in São Paulo, Southeast Brazil, as well as to analyze the phylogenetic relationship among isolates of HTLV-1. From July to December 2017, 2,139 individuals from five Japanese associations were interviewed and submitted to blood collection. All serum samples were first tested for the presence of anti-HTLV-1/2 antibodies by ELISA and then peripheral blood from individuals with positive serological results were analyzed for the presence of HTLV-1 5’LTR proviral DNA. Partial sequencing of the 5’LTR region of HTLV-1 proviral DNA was performed by Sanger. The prevalence of HTLV-1 infection was 5.1% (CI 95%: 4.2–6.0). In the multiple logistic regression model, HTLV-1 infection was associated with age ≥ 45 years, female sex, being first and second-generation Japanese immigrants, and having sexual partners with history of blood transfusion. The phylogenetic analysis revealed that all HTLV-1 were classified as Cosmopolitan (1a) subtype. Of them, 47.8% were classified as Transcontinental (A) subgroup and 52.2% as belonging to the Japanese (B) subgroup. Although most HTLV-1-infected patients were asymptomatic (97.3%), blurred vision was associated with HTLV-1 infection. The high prevalence of HTLV-1 infection found in this studied population and especially the intra- and interfamily HTLV-1 transmission presents an urgent call for preventive and control responses of this infection in Brazil.
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