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Information regarding the current seroprevalence of hepatitis A virus (HAV) is useful for the control of HAV infections. The objective of our study was to evaluate the prevalence of anti-HAV antibodies among children (1-5 years old) and young adults (15-20 years old) in Tuscany, in central Italy. A total of 565 sera were collected in three years 1992, 1998 and 2004, equally distributed between the two age groups. The overal proportion of those that tested positive for anti-HAV antibodies was 8.3%. The proportion of immune children (1-5 years old) statistically significantly increased over the years. The percentage of immune subjects among 15-20-year-old young adults varied over the years, not showing a significant statistical trend, nevertheless our findings indicate that in a low endemicity area, adolescents and young adults are becoming increasingly susceptible to HAV infection. On-going monitoring of immunity to HAV is necessary for detecting trends over time.


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