Author(s): Van Hoecke F, Van Maerken T, De Boulle M, Geerts A, Vlierberghe V,
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Abstract BACKGROUND AND STUDY AIM: Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection is increasingly recognized as a cause of hepatitis in developed countries. The goal of this study is to provide an estimate of the seroprevalence of HEV in Belgium, more precisely in East and West Flanders, since data for this country are currently lacking. PATIENTS AND METHODS: One hundred patients presenting at the gynecological (mainly fertility center) or orthopedic clinics of our hospital were randomly selected to be tested for anti-HEV IgG antibodies using a sensitive indirect ELISA and, in the case of a borderline result, a strip immunoassay. RESULTS: The anti-HEV IgG seroprevalence was found to be 14\%. CONCLUSIONS: The observed seroprevalence rate suggests that HEV infection is not an uncommon occurrence in Belgium. Comparisons with published seroprevalence data of other Western European countries should be made with caution due to differences in the analytical performance of anti-HEV IgG assays.
This article was published in Acta Gastroenterol Belg
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals