Hepatitis E Virus Seroprevalence in Acute Viral Hepatitis in a Developed Country Confirmed by a Supplemental Assay

Hepatitis E Virus Seroprevalence in Acute Viral Hepatitis in a Developed Country Confirmed by a Supplemental Assay

Hepatitis E Virus Seroprevalence in Acute Viral Hepatitis in a Developed Country Confirmed by a Supplemental Assay

Abstract

Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection is prevalent among cases of acute viral hepatitis in young adults in developing countries. HEV infection is not restricted to endemic areas, but would appear to be worldwide in distribution. In order to document the incidence of HEV infection in acute hepatitiscases in a developed country, IgG and IgM anti-HEV antibodies and HEV RNA were tested in 101 Caucasian patients with acute viral hepatitis; 92 of these cases had markers of acute viral hepatitis other than HEV. Forty-seven (46.5%) cases had IgG anti-HEV; IgM anti-HEV and HEV viremia were not detected. As the incidence of anti-HEV was higher than would be expected, the possibility of the occurrence of false positive results was subsequently investigated. Supplemental antibody testing, using a broadly reactive epitope region, reduced the frequency of anti-HEV to 17%. Therefore, supplemental antibody testing confirms the hepatitis E virus seroprevalence in a developed country. Since IgM anti-HEV and HEV viremia were not detected, persons with IgG anti-HEV may be “subclinical HEV cases,” or have long-lived antibodies in their circulation.

read online

 

Post Comment