Modeling the transmission dynamics and control of hepatitis B virus in China

Lan Zou, Weinian Zhang, Shigui Ruan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and is a major global health problem. HBV is the most common serious viral infection and a leading cause of death in mainland China. Around 130 million people in China are carriers of HBV, almost a third of the people infected with HBV worldwide and about 10% of the general population in the country; among them 30 million are chronically infected. Every year, 300,000 people die from HBV-related diseases in China, accounting for 40-50% of HBV-related deaths worldwide. Despite an effective vaccination program for newborn babies since the 1990s, which has reduced chronic HBV infection in children, the incidence of hepatitis B is still increasing in China. We propose a mathematical model to understand the transmission dynamics and prevalence of HBV infection in China. Based on the data reported by the Ministry of Health of China, the model provides an approximate estimate of the basic reproduction number R0 = 2.406. This indicates that hepatitis B is endemic in China and is approaching its equilibrium with the current immunization program and control measures. Although China made a great progress in increasing coverage among infants with hepatitis B vaccine, it has a long and hard battle to fight in order to significantly reduce the incidence and eventually eradicate the virus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)330-338
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of theoretical biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 21 2010


  • Basic reproduction number
  • Disease endemic equilibrium
  • Hepatitis B virus
  • Mathematical modeling
  • Transmission dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


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