Hepatitis B infection prevalence by country of birth in migrant populations in a large UK city

Alexandra Cochrane*, Iro Evlampidou, Charles Irish, Suzanne M. Ingle, Matthew Hickman

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Many countries with low prevalence of Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infection recommend that migrants born in countries with higher prevalence are HBV tested. The cost effectiveness depends on the prevalence of HBV infection in the migrant population. In the UK the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommended HBV testing of migrants born in countries with HBV infection prevalence >2%, but the prevalence in migrant populations in the UK is not routinely measured. Objectives: To estimate HBV infection prevalence by region of birth in migrant populations in a large UK city. Study Design: By retrospective data linkage HBV infection prevalence in migrant women tested in pregnancy was determined by UN region and sub-region of birth. Results: Of 5840 migrant women born in regions with HBV infection prevalence >2%, 101 were infected (prevalence 1.7%; 95% CI 1.4-2.1). Sub-regions of birth with low (<2%), intermediate (2-8%) and high (>8%) prevalence in the study population were: low - Northern Africa, Southern Asia, Western Asia, Eastern Europe, South Europe, Central America, Latin America and The Caribbean; intermediate - Eastern Africa, Middle Africa, Western Africa, and South Eastern Asia; high - Eastern Asia. Prevalence in the study populations, was generally lower than published estimates for the region of origin. Conclusion: In a large ethnically diverse city in the UK the hepatitis B prevalence in migrant populations for whom HBV screening is recommended is below the estimated cost effectiveness threshold. We recommend more targeted screening based on measured prevalence in migrant populations.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)79-82
    Number of pages4
    JournalJournal of Clinical Virology
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    Alexandra Cochrane has received research funding from Gilead UK and Ireland Fellowship Programme. Gilead UK and Ireland Fellowship Programme had no role in design of the study, data collection, analysis, interpretation, abstract preparation, or decision to submit. The other authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

    Funding Information:
    This study was supported with an educational grant via the Gilead UK and Ireland Fellowship Programme. The study was supported by the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Evaluation of Interventions. The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR, the Department of Health or Public Health England.

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


    • Global
    • Hepatitis B
    • Migrant
    • Prevalence
    • Screening
    • Testing


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