Author(s): Sylvan SP, Jacobson SH, Christenson B
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Abstract In order to study the prevalence of antibody to hepatitis E virus (HEV) among hemodialysis patients and to evaluate whether chronic hemodialysis is associated with an increased risk of exposure to HEV in developed countries, the IgG anti-HEV was determined in serum samples obtained from 182 patients on chronic hemodialysis and 349 statistically selected, healthy Swedish control subjects. Serum specimens from 11 of the 182 (6.0\%) hemodialysis patients and from 18 of the 349 (5.2\%) control subjects were repeatedly positive for HEV antibodies (the difference was not significant: P = .67). Analysis of serial serum samples obtained at the initiation of hemodialysis and consecutively during follow-up periods of several years demonstrated no IgG anti-HEV seroconversion during chronic hemodialysis. The seroprevalence of anti-HEV antibody in the adult Swedish population was associated significantly with age. In persons younger than 40 years, the percentage of seropositive individuals was 2.5\%, whereas the seroprevalence rate of anti-HEV was 7.4\% in subjects older than 40 years (P < .05). This study indicates that nosocomial transmission of HEV to patients on maintenance hemodialysis was non-existent in three dialysis centers in Sweden (a developed country) and that chronic hemodialysis is not associated with an increased risk of exposure to HEV infection in this region.
This article was published in J Med Virol
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals