Author(s): Tarrago D, LpezVlez R, Turrientes C, Baquero F, Mateos ML
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Abstract The aim of the present study was to investigate the prevalence of anti-hepatitis E virus (HEV) antibodies among indigenous Spanish blood donors and immigrants from developing countries in order to determine whether immigrants pose a significant risk for the transmission of HEV to the healthy Spanish population. The seroprevalence of HEV was determined in a cohort of 90 asymptomatic immigrants (mostly from countries in sub-Saharan Africa) who had recently arrived in Madrid, Spain, and in 863 blood donors, who represented the healthy Spanish population. The results showed that the prevalence of HEV antibodies was 1.9 times higher in the immigrants than in the blood donors (5.5\% in immigrants, 95\% CI 1.8-12.4; 2.9\% in blood donors, 95\% CI 1.9-4.2). Combined with the estimated population figures of 300,000 undocumented immigrants versus 39,000,000 Spaniards, these results indicate that sub-Saharan immigrants cannot currently be considered a major risk source for the transmission of HEV in Spain.
This article was published in Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals