Prevalence of hepatitis B, C, and delta virus infections among children in Mongolia: Progress in childhood immunization

Bira Tsatsralt-Od, Masaharu Takahashi, Kazunori Endo, Dondog Agiimaa, Osorjin Buyankhuu, Masashi Ninomiya, Felipe R. Lorenzo, Hiroaki Okamoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Mongolia is highly endemic for hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and hepatitis delta virus (HDV) infections among apparently healthy adults. However, the age-specific prevalence of ongoing HBV, HCV, and HDV infections among children in Mongolia remains unknown. Therefore, samples obtained from a total of 655 apparently healthy children of 0.3-15 years of age (307 boys and 348 girls; age, mean±standard deviation [SD], 8.4±4.2 years) living in Mongolia, between October 2005 and January 2006, were tested for serological and molecular markers of HBV, HCV, and HDV infections. Although 88.7% of the 655 children studied were immunized against hepatitis B, 64 (9.8%) tested positive for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and/or HBV DNA and 13 (2.0%) for HDV RNA. Twenty-seven children (4.1%) had detectable HCV RNA. Collectively, 82 (12.5%) were viremic for one or more of these viruses, including eight children with dual viremia of HBV/HCV and one child with triple HBV/HCV/HDV viremia. When children without anti-HBc, anti-HCV and anti-HDV IgG (n = 510) served as a control, a history of hospitalization was significantly associated with HBV viremia (P < 0.0001), anti-HBc positivity (P < 0.0001), and HCV viremia (P = 0.0001). HBsAg mutation was found in 18 (31.6%) of the 57 children with viremia, including those at amino acid position 126, 127, 129, 131, 134, 143 or 144. There were no significant differences in the frequency of HBsAg mutation in relation to age, sex, and hepatitis B vaccination status of the children, suggesting that HBsAg mutation plays a limited role in failure of vaccination in Mongolia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1064-1074
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Aug


  • Children
  • Hepatitis B virus
  • Hepatitis delta virus
  • Immunization
  • Mongolia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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