Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major health problem worldwide. Although Italy is consid-ered a low prevalence setting for HBV infection, following significant migration in recent years there has been an increase in the occurrence of the disease. Italian guidelines recommend that all migrants be screened, vaccinated and treated for HBV, as required. Unfortu-nately, screening and vaccination in this population can be challenging for several reasons. We therefore con-ducted an analysis to evaluate the efficacy and outcome of the pathways of care (from screening to treatment) for HBV in a population of migrants. We evaluated 330 migrants who came to our centre between August 2015 and October 2018, and who were residing in seven different centres for refugees and asylum seekers. At the first evaluation, only 30% of them had already received screening for HBV. After our intervention, 23 (6.9%) were diagnosed as HBsAg carriers, whereas 204 (61.8%) were potentially eligible for vaccination. At a follow-up evaluation of the latter group, only 56.9% had by then been vaccinated, 17.6% had the vaccination course on-going, and 17.1% had not started their vaccination course. Among those who were HBsAg positive, 73.9% were still in care at month 6 of follow-up, and only 43.3% were in care one year later. Our results demon-strated that both screening and vaccination strategies for HBV need to be improved in migrant populations. Similarly, a reinforcement of the network to keep in care migrants who initiated treatment or deserve clinical monitoring is necessary.

Outcome of hbv screening and vaccination in a migrant population in southern italy

Mazzitelli M.;Serapide F.;Scaglione V.;Morrone H.;Marascio N.;Giancotti A.;Liberto M. C.;Matera G.;Trecarichi E. M.;Torti C.
2021-01-01

Abstract

Chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection is a major health problem worldwide. Although Italy is consid-ered a low prevalence setting for HBV infection, following significant migration in recent years there has been an increase in the occurrence of the disease. Italian guidelines recommend that all migrants be screened, vaccinated and treated for HBV, as required. Unfortu-nately, screening and vaccination in this population can be challenging for several reasons. We therefore con-ducted an analysis to evaluate the efficacy and outcome of the pathways of care (from screening to treatment) for HBV in a population of migrants. We evaluated 330 migrants who came to our centre between August 2015 and October 2018, and who were residing in seven different centres for refugees and asylum seekers. At the first evaluation, only 30% of them had already received screening for HBV. After our intervention, 23 (6.9%) were diagnosed as HBsAg carriers, whereas 204 (61.8%) were potentially eligible for vaccination. At a follow-up evaluation of the latter group, only 56.9% had by then been vaccinated, 17.6% had the vaccination course on-going, and 17.1% had not started their vaccination course. Among those who were HBsAg positive, 73.9% were still in care at month 6 of follow-up, and only 43.3% were in care one year later. Our results demon-strated that both screening and vaccination strategies for HBV need to be improved in migrant populations. Similarly, a reinforcement of the network to keep in care migrants who initiated treatment or deserve clinical monitoring is necessary.
2021
HBV
Migrant
Screening
Vaccination
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12317/77367
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