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1.  Hepatitis C Virus in Vietnam: High Prevalence of Infection in Dialysis and Multi-Transfused Patients Involving Diverse and Novel Virus Variants 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e41266.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a genetically diverse pathogen infecting approximately 2–3% of the world's population. Herein, we describe results of a large, multicentre serological and molecular epidemiological study cataloguing the prevalence and genetic diversity of HCV in five regions of Vietnam; Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Khanh Hoa and Can Tho. Individuals (n = 8654) with varying risk factors for infection were analysed for the presence of HCV Ab/Ag and, in a subset of positive specimens, for HCV RNA levels (n = 475) and genotype (n = 282). In lower risk individuals, including voluntary blood donors, military recruits and pregnant women, the prevalence of infection was 0.5% (n = 26/5250). Prevalence rates were significantly higher (p<0.001) in intravenous drug users (IDUs; 55.6%, n = 556/1000), dialysis patients (26.6%, n = 153/575) commercial sex workers (CSWs; 8.7%, n = 87/1000), and recipients of multiple blood transfusions (6.0%, n = 32/529). The prevalence of HCV in dialysis patients varied but remained high in all regions (11–43%) and was associated with the receipt of blood transfusions [OR: 2.08 (1.85–2.34), p = 0.001], time from first transfusion [OR: 1.07 (1.01–1.13), p = 0.023], duration of dialysis [OR: 1.31 (1.19–1.43), p<0.001] and male gender [OR: 1.60 (1.06–2.41), p = 0.026]. Phylogenetic analysis revealed high genetic diversity, particularly amongst dialysis and multi-transfused patients, identifying subtypes 1a (33%), 1b (27%), 2a (0.4%), 3a (0.7%), 3b (1.1%), 6a (18.8%), 6e (6.0%), 6h (4.6%), 6l (6.4%) and 2 clusters of novel genotype 6 variants (2.1%). HCV genotype 1 predominated in Vietnam (60%, n = 169/282) but the proportion of infections attributable to genotype 1 varied between regions and risk groups and, in the Southern part of Vietnam, genotype 6 viruses dominated in dialysis and multi-transfused patients (73.9%). This study confirms a high prevalence of HCV infection in Vietnamese IDUs and, notably, reveals high levels of HCV infection associated with dialysis and blood transfusion.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0041266
PMCID: PMC3419252  PMID: 22916104
2.  Subclinical Avian Influenza A(H5N1) Virus Infection in Human, Vietnam 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2013;19(10):1674-1677.
Laboratory-confirmed cases of subclinical infection with avian influenza A(H5N1) virus in humans are rare, and the true number of these cases is unknown. We describe the identification of a laboratory-confirmed subclinical case in a woman during an influenza A(H5N1) contact investigation in northern Vietnam.
doi:10.3201/eid1910.130730
PMCID: PMC3810763  PMID: 24047510
avian influenza A(H5N1); influenza; avian influenza; H5N1; Vietnam; human; subclinical; viruses; asymptomatic; clades; poultry
3.  A Multicentre Molecular Analysis of Hepatitis B and Blood-Borne Virus Coinfections in Viet Nam 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(6):e39027.
Hepatitis B (HBV) infection is endemic in Viet Nam, with up to 8.4 million individuals estimated to be chronically infected. We describe results of a large, multicentre seroepidemiological and molecular study of the prevalence of HBV infection and blood-borne viral coinfections in Viet Nam. Individuals with varying risk factors for infection (n = 8654) were recruited from five centres; Ha Noi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Khanh Hoa and Can Tho. A mean prevalence rate of 10.7% was observed and levels of HBsAg were significantly higher in injecting drug users (IDUs) (17.4%, n = 174/1000) and dialysis patients (14.3%, n = 82/575) than in lower-risk groups (9.4%; p<0.001). Coinfection with HIV was seen in 28% of HBV-infected IDUs (n = 49/174) and 15.2% of commercial sex workers (CSWs; n = 15/99). HCV infection was present in 89.8% of the HBV-HIV coinfected IDUs (n = 44/49) and 40% of HBV-HIV coinfected CSWs (n = 16/40). Anti-HDV was detected in 10.7% (n = 34/318) of HBsAg positive individuals. Phylogenetic analysis of HBV S gene (n = 187) showed a predominance of genotype B4 (82.6%); genotypes C1 (14.6%), B2 (2.7%) and C5 (0.5%) were also identified. The precore mutation G1896A was identified in 35% of all specimens, and was more frequently observed in genotype B (41%) than genotype C (3%; p<0.0001). In the immunodominant ‘a’ region of the surface gene, point mutations were identified in 31% (n = 58/187) of sequences, and 2.2% (n = 4/187) and 5.3% (n = 10/187) specimens contained the major vaccine escape mutations G145A/R and P120L/Q/S/T, respectively. 368 HBsAg positive individuals were genotyped for the IL28B SNP rs12979860 and no significant association between the IL28B SNP and clearance of HBsAg, HBV viral load or HBeAg was observed. This study confirms the high prevalence of HBV infection in Viet Nam and also highlights the significant levels of blood-borne virus coinfections, which have important implications for hepatitis-related morbidity and development of effective management strategies.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0039027
PMCID: PMC3374772  PMID: 22720022
4.  Prevalence and Risk Factors Associated with HIV Infection Among Men Having Sex with Men in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 
AIDS and Behavior  2007;12(3):476-482.
To learn more about risk behaviors among men who have sex with men (MSM) in Vietnam and their prevalence of HIV, we conducted a study among MSM in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) to determine HIV-1 prevalence and behaviors associated with infection. This consisted of formative (35 MSM) and cross-sectional (600 MSM) studies at 72 sites, including 75 transvestites, 55 bisexuals, 10 sex workers, and 460 other MSM. Only 5.3% cohabited with a wife/girlfriend, but 30% reported ever having sex with a female. Prevalence of HIV was 8%, ranging from 33% in sex workers to 7% among transvestites and other MSM. Injecting drugs, selling sex, being 20–40 years old, having less than 6 years of education, and having more than five male anal sex partners in the past month were associated with being HIV-infected. MSM are an HIV bridge group, and should be included in sentinel surveillance. Targeted interventions should be implemented.
doi:10.1007/s10461-007-9267-y
PMCID: PMC2903539  PMID: 17594139
HIV; Men having sex with men (MSM); Vietnam; Injection drug users (IDUs); Commercial sex workers (CSWs)

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