Yonsei Med J.  2018 Nov;59(9):1072-1078. 10.3349/ymj.2018.59.9.1072.

Seroepidemiology of Hepatitis Viruses and Hepatitis B Genotypes of Female Marriage Immigrants in Korea

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Seoul, Korea. lhwdoc@yuhs.ac
  • 3Department of Laboratory Medicine, Chonnam National University Hwasun Hospital, Hwasun, Korea.
  • 4Molecular Epidemiology and Bioinformatics Laboratory, Division of Viral Hepatitis, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.


The Korean society has moved rapidly toward becoming a multicultural society. This study aimed to estimate the seroprevalence of hepatitis viruses and investigate hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotypic diversity in female marriage immigrants.
Screening program was conducted at support centers for multicultural families in 21 administrative districts in Korea between July 2011 and January 2017. A total of 963 female marriage immigrants were included in this study. Blood samples were tested for hepatitis viral markers and HBV genotype.
Subjects' median age was 33 years (20-40 years), and they originated from nine countries including Vietnam (n=422, 43.8%), China (n=311, 32.3%), the Philippines (n=85, 8.8%), Cambodia (n=58, 6.0%), and Japan (n=39, 4.0%). About 30% (n=288) of subjects required hepatitis A vaccination. HBsAg positive rate was 5.4% (n=52). Positive HBsAg results were the highest in subjects from Southeast Asia (6.6%, n=38). Anti-HBs positive rate was 60.4% (n=582). About 34% (n=329) of subjects who were negative for anti-HBs and HBsAg required HBV vaccinations. Genotypes B and C were found in 54.6% (n=12) and 45.4% (n=10) of the 22 subjects with HBV, in whom genotypes were tested. Eight (0.8%) subjects were positive for anti-HCV. Positive anti-HCV results were the highest in subjects from Central Asia (7.9%, n=3).
Testing for hepatitis viral marker (hepatitis A virus IgG and HBsAg/anti-HBs) is needed for female marriage immigrants. Especially, HBV genotype B is different from genotype C of Koreans. Therefore, interest and attention to vaccination programs for female marriage immigrants are necessary for both clinicians and public health institutes.


Hepatitis virus; prevalence; genotype; marriage; immigrants
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