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May 1990

International Adoptees and Hepatitis B Virus Infection

Author Affiliations

Department of Pediatrics and Human Development Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 48824-1317

Am J Dis Child. 1990;144(5):523. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1990.02150290017013

Sir.—I read with great interest the article by Drs Hostetter and Johnson1 in the March 1989 issue of AJDC. This article should serve as a valuable reference for primary care physicians. I have some concerns, however, about the portion of the article pertaining to hepatitis B virus (HBV). Since 1985, I have been involved in an HBV screening program for children adopted through a single agency in Seoul, South Korea.2 To date, more than 2300 children have been tested for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and 76 HBsAg-positive children (3.3%) have been prospectively identified. Because when tested, 60% or more of the children were 1 year or younger, with the majority being 3 to 4 months of age, the concomitant use of other HBV markers, including antibodies to hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAb) and surface antigen (HBsAb), were not found to be particularly helpful in the initial

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