Institut de veille sanitaire, Département des maladies infectieuses, Saint-Maurice, France
With a prevalence of HBs antigen carriage of 0.65%, France belongs to the low endemic countries for hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Incidence of acute symptomatic cases is estimated to be 1/100 000 inhabitants, and 4.1/100 000 inhabitants for infection; HBV attributable mortality is estimated to be 2.2/100 000 inhabitants. The French population should acquire a better knowledge concerning its serological status towards HBV infection, through enhanced screening focusing especially populations at-risk, allowing a better access to care and improvement of prevention measures around acute or chronic cases. Vaccination effectiveness in decreasing not only the incidence but subsequently the HBs Ag carriage is well documented. With immunization rates below 50% both in infants and toddlers, France needs to dramatically improve the compliance to the national immunisation recommendations, targeting not only the latest but newborns to HBs Ag positive mothers and all individuals at higher risk towards HBV infection.