Molecular and epidemiological characteristics of blood-borne virus infections among recent immigrants in Spain
Article first published online: 24 OCT 2006
Copyright © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Journal of Medical Virology
Volume 78, Issue 12, pages 1599–1608, December 2006
How to Cite
Toro, C., Jiménez, V., Rodríguez, C., del Romero, J., Rodés, B., Holguín, Á., Álvarez, P., García-Campello, M., Gómez-Hernando, C., Guelar, A., Sheldon, J., de Mendoza, C., Simón, A. and Soriano, V. (2006), Molecular and epidemiological characteristics of blood-borne virus infections among recent immigrants in Spain. J. Med. Virol., 78: 1599–1608. doi: 10.1002/jmv.20744
- Issue published online: 24 OCT 2006
- Article first published online: 24 OCT 2006
- Manuscript Accepted: 2 AUG 2006
- FIS. Grant Number: CP05/00300
- FIPSE. Grant Number: 36483/05
- Agencia Lain Entralgo
- RIS (Red de Investigación en Sida, project 173)
The increased immigration from developing regions to Western countries raises public health concerns related to blood-borne viruses. The prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), and human T-lymphotropic virus (HTLV) infections among recent immigrants attending several Spanish diagnostic centers in years 2002 and 2003 was examined. Genetic characterization of viral subtypes and its relationship with distinct at-risk populations was carried out. A total of 1,303 immigrants were identified. They originated in Latin America (46.9%), Sub-Saharan Africa (23.7%), Eastern Europe (9.4%), and the Maghreb (9.2%). Seroprevalence rates were as follows: HIV-1 4.2%, HBV 4.1%, HCV 2.9%, and HTLV-1 0.8%. All patients with HIV-1 non-B subtypes, HBV genotypes E and A3, and HCV genotype 4 were sub-Saharan Africans, and had been infected mainly through heterosexual contacts. In contrast, Latin American homo/bisexual men carried HIV-1 subtype B most likely acquired after their arrival to Spain. In conclusion, while Sub-Saharan Africans carry wide diverse genetic variants of blood-borne viruses, the absence of high-risk practices in most cases could limit the spread of these variants. In contrast, Latin Americans with high-risk sexual practices may be a particularly vulnerable collective to acquire blood-borne viruses in the receptor country. J. Med. Virol. 78:1599–1608, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.