Korean J Lab Med.  2009 Dec;29(6):551-556. 10.3343/kjlm.2009.29.6.551.

Hepatitis A Virus Seropositivity among Healthcare Workers at a University Hospital in Korea

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Kyunghee University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. sonjs@korea.com
  • 2Department of Laboratory Medicine, Kyunghee University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Healthcare workers (HCW) are known as a risk group of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection and vaccination of this group against HAV has been suggested. However, the seroprevalence of HAV antibody among HCW in Korea has not been reported. We investigated the seropositivity of HAV antibody in HCW, to obtain a baseline data. METHODS: We measured serum total HAV antibody using chemiluminescent immunoassay (ADVIA Centaur, Germany) in 174 HCW at one university hospital in Seoul, Korea. RESULTS: Serum HAV antibody was positive in 48 (27.6%) of 174 subjects tested. The seropositivity of HAV antibody was significantly increased with increasing age: 21.1% (26/123), 55% (22/40), and 100% (11/11) in the age groups of 20's, 30's, and 40's, respectively (P<0.001). However it was not significantly different among different occupations (physicians 38%, nurses 24.6%, other workers 31.4%, P=0.376) and work places (medical ward 29.1%, pediatric ward 25.9%, emergency room 34.4%, laboratory 0%, P=0.140). The seroprevalence rate of HAV antibody in the age groups of 20's and 30's in this study was not higher than that of previous studies on non-HCW populations in Korea since 2006. CONCLUSIONS: The seroprevalence of HAV antibody among HCW in the age groups of 20's and 30's in a Korean hospital was not higher than that of non-HCW populations, and the seropositivity increased with increasing age. Further studies are needed for the age-specific strategy for vaccination, considering the increased risk of exposure in HCW to HAV infection in hospital environment with the increase of symptomatic patients with HAV.


Hepatitis A virus; HAV antibody; Healthcare workers; Korea

MeSH Terms

Hepatitis A/*diagnosis/epidemiology
Hepatitis A Antibodies/*blood
Hepatitis A virus/*immunology
Hospitals, University
Middle Aged
*Occupational Exposure
*Personnel, Hospital
Republic of Korea
Seroepidemiologic Studies


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