Volume 95, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Sri Lanka is one of the intermediate-endemic areas for hepatitis A virus (HAV), and concerns exist about the increasing HAV-susceptible population. In fact, Sri Lanka recorded a large hepatitis outbreak, possibly hepatitis A, around the end of the Sri Lankan war. It included more than 14,000 patients consisting of local residents, internally displaced personnel, and military personnel in the main combat zone. The outbreak had slowed down by October 2009; however, acute viral hepatitis continued to occur sequentially among military personnel. We obtained clinical information and serum samples from 222 patients with acute hepatitis who visited the Military Hospital Anuradhapura between January and September 2010. Samples were subjected to laboratory testing including HAV-immunoglobulin M and genotyping. Most patients (98.2%) were confirmed as having hepatitis A belonging to two subgenotypes: IA and IIIA. We did not observe any differences in clinical or biochemical features among patients with subgenotypes IA and IIIA except for pale stools and upper abdominal discomfort. During the investigation period, we observed a serial outbreak caused by identical HAV strains with an interval in line with that of typical HAV incubation periods. Most patients in the first outbreak were found in the training center, and patients in the second outbreak were found in multiple places where soldiers were assigned after the training center. These findings indicate that a strain of HAV diffused from one place to another along with movement of infected persons among the HAV-susceptible population. HAV vaccination for high-risk groups, such as young soldiers, is necessary.


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  • Received : 18 Mar 2016
  • Accepted : 30 May 2016
  • Published online : 05 Oct 2016

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