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Epidemiological populational - based investigation on Hepatites C and B in Cássia dos Coqueiros, São Paulo, Brazil


Infections by hepatitis C and B viruses remain an important cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In particular, hepatitis C has assumed increasingly global importance due to the lack of a specific vaccine and its large capacity of chronicity. Additionally, it usually presents no symptoms, making it difficult to identify cases in early stages. Thus, field investigations covering different populations are critically needed. This study aims to estimate the prevalence of hepatitis C and B infections markers and risks factors in the population aged 18 years and over in the town of Cássia Coqueiros, state of São Paulo, Brazil, through a cross sectional survey. Secondarily, an analysis of incidence of hepatitis B in the past 25 years will be performed, comparing the results obtained in a similar study, conducted between 1986 and 1990, with those observed in the present investigation. Ali residents aged 18 years and over who agree to participate in the study will be included, after signing an informed consent. As part of an ongoing epidemiological investigation in the community, a 30 ml sample of blood was obtained from each potential participant and stored at the Serology Laboratory of the University Hospital of Ribeirão Preto Medical School. These samples will be tested for serological markers of hepatitis B and C by using immunoenzymatic techniques. Positive samples will be tested by molecular biology techniques for viral detection and genotyping. Participants will be assigned a specific questionnaire which includes demographic and socioeconomic variables, as well as risk factors for hepatitis C and B. The information gathered by the questionnaire and the results of serological tests will be coded and entered into a database. After, they will be transported to a statistical package (Stata 9.0) and submitted to an initial univariate analysis, seeking associations between potential risk factors and presence of serological markers. The variables that show evidence of such associations will subsequently submitted to multivariate analysis, by applying log binomial models. (AU)

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