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The use of dried blood spots for assessing antibody response to hepatitis A virus after natural infection and vaccination.

Author(s): Melgaco JG, Pinto MA, Rocha AM, Freire M, Gaspar LP, Lima SM, Cruz OG, Vitral CL

Affiliation(s): Department of Microbiology and Parasitology-Biomedical Institute, Federal Fluminense University, Niteroi, Brazil.

Publication date & source: 2011-02, J Med Virol., 83(2):208-17.

Publication type: Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

During recent years, vaccination against hepatitis A has been implemented in several countries. It is expected that the increase in mass vaccination against hepatitis A will eventually result in a decreased prevalence of anti-HAV antibodies in the general population. For this reason, a suitable clinical sample for diagnosis of hepatitis A must be sufficiently sensitive to enable detection of lower antibodies titers. In this study, the feasibility of using dried blood spots (DBS) was assessed for the detection of anti-HAV antibodies after a natural infection and vaccination. Seventy-four DBS and paired plasma samples were obtained from a group of college students for a cross-sectional hepatitis A seroepidemiological study. Forty-six students seronegative for anti-HAV were selected randomly and immunized with an inactivated hepatitis A vaccine using an 0-6 month schedule. Seroconversion was monitored in paired plasma and DBS samples 6 months after the first dose followed by a period of 8 and 24 months after the second dose. A strong correlation between OD/CO rates of paired plasma and DBS samples for the detection of anti-HAV was observed. The sensitivity and specificity of the DBS compared with plasma for the detection of anti-HAV antibodies after natural infection was 100%. The sensitivity of DBS in samples collected 24 months after the second dose of hepatitis A vaccine was 95.4%. The results showed that DBS samples can be used for the detection of anti-HAV antibodies both after natural infection or vaccination. 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Page last updated: 2011-12-09

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