Hepatitis B Antigenaemia on Wuvulu Island

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  • Institut de Médecine et d'Épidémiologie Africaines, Hôpital Claude Bernard, 75019 Paris, France

A survey of the population of Wuvulu Island was undertaken to determine the prevalence of hepatitis B antigenaemia (HBsAg). Seventy-five percent of the population were tested, and 17.7% of those tested were positive for HBsAg. The percentage of positive sera increased with age but declined in the 5th decade of life. There was a marked difference in positivity between the two villages on the island (25.9% and 9.9%) which cannot be explained by several existing hypotheses for HBsAg transmission.