Navigation Links
Most UK citizens susceptible to hepatitis B infection
Date:11/9/2007

The failure of the UK to introduce universal hepatitis B immunisation means that most UK citizens are susceptible to infection, warns an infectious diseases expert in this weeks BMJ.

The UK is one of the few developed countries that still does not routinely immunise children against hepatitis B, despite a call by the World Health Organisation for the global introduction of vaccine prevention programmes by 1997, writes Andrew Pollard, Reader in Paediatric Infection and Immunity at Oxford University.

Earlier this year, the BMA also called upon the Department of Health to introduce the hepatitis B vaccine into the childhood schedule without further delay.

The main argument against introducing universal immunisation is the relatively low incidence of disease in the UK compared with other countries. However, 180,000 people in the UK are chronically infected with hepatitis B virus and 7,700 new cases of chronic infection are detected each year.

Growing travel and migration also put the UK population at risk of exposure from abroad.

Up to 40% of infections are transmitted from mother to child during birth, or in early childhood through contact with blood or body fluids. Fortunately, the virus can be controlled and, possibly, eventually eliminated by immunisation, says Pollard.

Indeed, countries that have introduced universal childhood immunisation in the past 15 years now have a new generation of adolescents and young adults among whom transmission is being interrupted.

The UK government currently favours a targeted immunisation strategy to prevent transmission of the virus from mother to child. But the easiest and cheapest way to protect UK children is to add hepatitis B vaccine to the current UK primary immunisation schedule in early infancy, says Pollard. This approach is already widely used in Europe.

However, at this time, infant immunisation alone is also insufficient to limit transmission of the virus, because of ongoing transmission among the non-immune adult population and the difficulty in identifying and reaching people at risk. For this reason, Pollard argues that the current targeted programme aimed at high risk groups (injecting drug users, prisoners etc) needs strengthening to reduce the burden of new infections until those in a universal immunisation programme reach adulthood.

He also says that the recent proposal to introduce vaccination to prevent cervical cancer in pre-adolescents from next year could provide a vehicle for implementing a concomitant adolescent hepatitis B programme to prevent liver cancer. This, he suggests, would generate a group of immune individiuals more quickly than universal infant immunisation alone and hasten the control of the hepatitis B virus in the UK.


'/>"/>

Contact: Emma Dickinson
edickinson@bmj.com
44-020-738-36529
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Community Health Centers Reveal Specific Ramifications of The Medicaid Citizenship and Identification Documentation Requirements
2. Governor Rendell Declares Senior Smiles Day in Pennsylvania; Goal is to Improve Oral Hygiene for Senior Citizens
3. High-fat diet makes mice susceptible to liver injury
4. Emotional eaters susceptible to weight regain
5. Burgeoning Population of Hepatitis C Virus Patients in Need of Second- and Third-Line Treatment Options
6. Weight-based dosing of ribavirin improves outcomes for patients with hepatitis C
7. Stanford researchers find way to fight treacherous hepatitis B
8. Medical Services International Agrees to Retail the VScan Hepatitis B&C Test Kits in SE Asia
9. Hepatitis A Vaccine Best Bet to Treat Virus
10. Hepatitis C Testing Recommended for Anyone with a Tattoo
11. Is it pancreatitis in acute abdominal pain in acute viral hepatitis?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/9/2016)... ... February 09, 2016 , ... ... create “Ebola: In Praise of Prevention,” an animated video designed to ... and French translations of the video are being distributed throughout Togo, Liberia, Sierra ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 09, 2016 , ... Shark Finds and Kevin Harrington, ... DRTV campaign with GRIP-DRY. , GRIP-DRY is a newly patented product that has solved some ... play in the wet and early morning dew or right after a rain shower, might ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... ... February 08, 2016 , ... The Federal Laboratory ... federallabs.org . The site houses a wealth of federal resources that businesses can ... process called technology transfer (T2). As a network of over 300 federal laboratories, ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Houma, LA (PRWEB) , ... February 08, 2016 ... ... Louisiana from offices in Houma, LA, celebrates the beginning of a new charity ... raised to assist Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). In the belief that children ...
(Date:2/8/2016)... Alexandria, Minn. (PRWEB) , ... February 08, 2016 ... ... introduces the BantamPro L top-load case packer for pouches, bags, and flow wrapped ... designed to help co-packers and specialty product manufacturers step up to semi-automatic or ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/9/2016)... 2016 The leader in accelerated orthodontics, OrthoAccel ... is the recipient of the 2015 Townie Choice Award ... II medical device that speeds up orthodontic tooth movement ... often associated with treatment, AcceleDent was selected by orthodontists ... Orthotown survey of the most reliable and ...
(Date:2/9/2016)... NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. , Feb. 9, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... in the RBC Capital Markets Global Healthcare Conference on ... New York City.  Dominic Caruso , Vice President, ... , Worldwide Chairman, Consumer will represent the Company in ... www.investor.jnj.com . --> www.investor.jnj.com . ...
(Date:2/9/2016)...  The Parenteral Drug Association, Inc. (PDA), the ... sterile drug products, today announced the publication of ... With link to Comparison Spreadsheet. The document ... FDA, the EU, the Pharmaceutical Inspection Convention/Scheme and ... --> PDA,s Global Sterile Task ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: