HepFree

Our Research

Our Research Team has adopted an interdisciplinary approach to studying the local epidemiology of viral hepatitis for informing the development of effective public health interventions. Our epidemiological studies has enhanced the understanding of the distribution and determinants of the diseases in Hong Kong, in the contexts of time, place and person.

  • Hepatitis A and hepatitis B virus infection
    Hepatitis A and hepatitis B are vaccine-preventable viral hepatitis. Through a territory-wide cross-sectional household survey conducted between 2019 and 2021, the research team collected questionnaire data and blood samples for serology testing from participants and their family members. The collected data and test results have been used to determine the population-level seroprevalence of hepatitis A and B in Hong Kong. Study findings have provided updated information for public health policy formulation by identifying risk factors and targets for disease control and prevention.
  • Hepatitis C virus infection
    Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a surrogate marker of high risk behaviours in injection drug users (IDU). Starting from seroprevalence studies in a cohort of IDU in the vicinity of methadone clinics in Hong Kong, our HCV epidemiological studies have been expanded to involve molecular investigation, spatial exploration and multilevel analysis on the vulnerability of IDU. Alternative risk factors to HCV infection in non-IDU is another theme of ongoing research.
  • Hepatitis E virus infection
    In response to the increasing number of acute hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection in Hong Kong, studies have been conducted to determine the seroprevalence of HEV infection by age group and gender and assess the risk factors associated with HEV seropositivity, particularly in some subpopulations at varying risk for acquiring HEV or having fulminant hepatitis.

Selected publication

  • Poon CM, Chan DP, Lee SS, Wong NS. Seroepidemiology of hepatitis A and B in the general population in Hong Kong: protocol of a cross-sectional survey using spatial sampling in a highly urbanised city. BMJ Open. 2021;11(3):e042065. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-042065.
  • Chan CP, Uemura H, Kwan TH, Wong NS, Oka S, Chan DPC, Lee SS. Review on the molecular epidemiology of sexually acquired hepatitis C virus infection in the Asia-Pacific region. Journal of the International AIDS Society. 2020;23(9):e25618. doi: 10.1002/jia2.25618.
  • Sun HY, Uemura H, Wong NS, Chan DP, Wong BC, Lin PH, Su LH, Hung CC, Oka S, Chang SY, Lee SS. Molecular epidemiology of acute HCV infection in HIV-positive patients from Hong Kong, Taipei, Tokyo. Liver Int. 2019;39(6):1044-1051. doi: 10.1111/liv.14073.
  • Wong NS, Lee CK, Ng SC, Wong HK, Chan DPC, Lee SS. Prevalence of hepatitis C infection and its associated factors in healthy adults without identifiable route of transmission. J Viral Hepat. 2018 Feb;25(2):161-170. doi: 10.1111/jvh.12804.
  • Chan DP, Lee KC, Lee SS. Epidemiology of hepatitis E infection in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Med J. 2017 Aug;23 Suppl 5(4):31-35.
  • Chan DP, Lee KC, Lee SS, Tan TY. Community-based molecular epidemiology study of hepatitis C virus infection in injection drug users. Hong Kong Med J. 2017 Aug;23 Suppl 5(4):27-30.
  • Chan DP, Sun HY, Wong HT, Lee SS, Hung CC. Sexually acquired hepatitis C virus infection: a review. Int J Infect Dis. 2016 Aug;49:47-58. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2016.05.030.
  • Chan DP, Lin AW, Wong KH, Wong NS, Lee SS. Diverse origins of hepatitis C virus in HIV co-infected men who have sex with men in Hong Kong. Virol J. 2015 Aug 8;12:120. doi: 10.1186/s12985-015-0355-8.
  • Wong NS, Chan PC, Lee SS, Lee SL, Lee CK. A multilevel approach for assessing the variability of hepatitis C prevalence in injection drug users by their gathering places. Int J Infect Dis. 2013 Mar;17(3):e193-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2012.10.004.
  • Chan DP, Lee SS, Lee KC. The effects of widespread methadone treatment on the molecular epidemiology of hepatitis C virus infection among injection drug users in Hong Kong. J Med Virol. 2011 Jul;83(7):1187-94. doi: 10.1002/jmv.22099.
  • Lee SS. Prevalence of hepatitis C infection in injection drug users in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Med J. 2009 Dec;15 Suppl 8:45-6.
  • Tan Y, Wei QH, Chen LJ, Chan PC, Lai WS, He ML, Kung HF, Lee SS. Molecular epidemiology of HCV monoinfection and HIV/HCV coinfection in injection drug users in Liuzhou, Southern China. PLoS One. 2008;3(10):e3608. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003608.
  • Lee KC, Lim WW, Lee SS. High prevalence of HCV in a cohort of injectors on methadone substitution treatment. J Clin Virol. 2008 Apr;41(4):297-300. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2007.09.013.