• anti-HBc alone;
  • anti-HCV;
  • community-based study;
  • HBsAg;
  • seroclearance;
  • seroreversion


Background: HBsAg and anti-hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV) are stable markers and widely used. The seroconversion and seroclearance of HBsAg and anti-HCV are important for disease control and prognosis of diseases.

Aims: To investigate acquirement and disappearance of HBsAg and anti-HCV in an endemic area.

Methods: Seven years after a community screening, 1002 of 2909 residents of Tzukuan Township were recruited. HBsAg, anti-HCV and alanine transaminase (ALT) were checked in all who participated and hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA, anti-HBs, anti-HBc, HCV RNA, anti-HDV and upper abdominal ultrasonography were studied in different groups.

Results: There were 461 male and 541 female residents with a mean age of 66.7±8.6 years. No new HBsAg carrier was noted and the HBsAg clearance rate was 1.58% per year. One of the 17 cases with HBsAg clearance had positive HBV DNA, three had ALT elevation, two had cirrhosis and seven had anti-HBs seroconversion. Quantitative of HBsAg and HBV DNA were concordant and 78.1% subjects had low levels of titration. Anti-HBc alone contributed to 32.1% and was prominent in old age and the anti-HCV-positive group. The anti-HCV seroconversion rate was only 0.74% per year and household transmission was the only risk factor. Only 37.5% of cases with anti-HCV seroconversion had HCV viraemia and the anti-HCV seroreversion rate was 0.63% per year. The anti-HDV seroconversion rate was 0.72% per year and no subject showed anti-HDV clearance.

Conclusions: Much higher rates of HBsAg seroclearance, anti-HCV seroreversion and anti-HBc alone were noted in this endemic area and no subject showed anti-HDV clearance.