Article Text

  1. M C Smahi1,
  2. L Rahmoun2,
  3. S M Ghomari1,
  4. S Benmansour1,
  5. H Sendani1,
  6. A S Bendeddouche1,
  7. D Gendrel3
  1. 1Service de Pédiatrie, CHU Tidjani Damerdji, Tlemcen, Algérie
  2. 2Service d’Hématologie, CHU Tidjani Damerdji, Tlemcen, Algérie
  3. 3Service de Pédiatrie Générale, Hôpital Saint-Vincent-de-Paul, Paris, France


Objective To determine the prevalence and risk factors of hepatitis A among children in the region of Tlemcen (north-west Algeria).

Methods 252 children (0.75–8 years) were tested for total hepatitis A virus (HAV) antibodies by ELISA (ETI-AB-HAVK PLUS, DiaSorin). A questionnaire concerning socioeconomic, living and hygienic conditions was completed.

Results The overall prevalence of HAV+ was 12.3% (<2 years 7.1%, 2–5 years 18.9% and 6–8 years 23.7%), with no sex difference (p = 0.053). On univariate analysis, the factors associated with HAV+ (vs HAV−) were: child’s age (mean 3.53 ± 2.2 vs 2.4 ± 2.1 years, p<0.01), mother’s age (mean 34.7 ± 6 vs 31.2 ± 6.1 years, p<0.01), mother’s gestity (mean 3.5 ± 1.8 vs 2.7 ± 1.7, p<0.05), number of persons aged <16 years living in the same housing (mean 3.1 ± 1.8 vs 2.3 ± 1.2, p<0.01), education level of the father less than secondary (83.9% vs 62.6%, p<0.05), child history of jaundice (19.3% vs 1.7%, p = 0.01) and child chronic illness (32.3% vs 5.3%, p<0.01). Multivariate analysis (logistic regression) confirmed specific effects of the number of people <16 years living in the same housing (p<0.05), education level of the father (p<0.05), and the presence of a chronic illness (p<0.0001).

Conclusion This study has shown a dramatic decrease of the age-specific HAV+ prevalence, suggesting a gradual shift from high to intermediate endemicity for hepatitis A in Algeria. Mass vaccination, as recommended by the WHO in areas of intermediate endemicity, should then be considered.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.