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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
 
 
 

Hepatitis E virus infection in a cohort of patients with acute non-A, non-B hepatitis.

BACKGROUND/AIMS: The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of hepatitis E virus infection in a cohort of patients with acute non-A, non-B hepatitis in Greece. METHODS: Serial serum samples of 198 patients with acute non-A, non-B hepatitis and a single serum specimen from 316 healthy subjects were tested for IgG and IgM antibodies to hepatitis E virus (anti-HEV). RESULTS: Anti-HEV IgG was found in 15/198 (7.6%) of acute non-A, non-B hepatitis patients and 7/316 (2.2%) of healthy controls (p=0.007). Anti-HEV IgM was found in 2/198 (1.0%) acute non-A, non-B hepatitis patients and in none of the healthy subjects. Neither anti-HEV IgM (+) case reported any risk factor and neither had travelled in areas endemic for hepatitis E virus infection. HEV-RNA was detected by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction in one patient. The prevalence of anti-HEV IgG was 7/45 (15.6%), 1/46 (2.2%), 5/30 (16.7%) and 2/77 (2.6%) in acute non-A, non-B hepatitis reporting transfusion, intravenous drug use, occupational/hospitalization, and unknown transmission, respectively (p=0.007). Anti-HEV IgG was found in 13/122 (10.7%) and 2/76 (2.6%) of acute non-A, non-B hepatitis patients positive and negative for anti-HCV, respectively (p=0.03). A similar association was found with anti-HBc (p=0.007). The prevalence of anti-HEV IgG was significantly higher in cases reporting transfusion [OR=7.3, 95% C.I. 1.4-37.7, p=0.017] and occupational/hospitalization [OR=6.8, 95% C.I. 1.2-38.2, p=0.029], as transmission category after controlling for age. CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that: (a) hepatitis E virus may be a cause - although not a frequent one - of sporadic or community-acquired acute non-A, non-B hepatitis in Greece; (b) hepatitis E virus may share transmission routes with hepatitis B and C viruses; and (c) the hypothesis that hepatitis E virus may be transmitted by parenteral routes deserves careful consideration.[1]

References

  1. Hepatitis E virus infection in a cohort of patients with acute non-A, non-B hepatitis. Psichogiou, M.A., Tassopoulos, N.C., Papatheodoridis, G.V., Tzala, E., Klarmann, R., Witteler, H., Schlauder, G.G., Troonen, H., Hatzakis, A. J. Hepatol. (1995) [Pubmed]
 
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