Author(s): Fogeda M, Avelln A, Echevarra JM
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Abstract Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is an infectious agent causing hepatitis among humans. Although hepatitis E has been reported from many European countries, its incidence in Europe is largely unknown, and the prevalence of the HEV infection is also unknown for most countries of the region. Antibody to HEV (anti-HEV) was tested on 2,305 serum samples from the general population of the Community of Madrid (Spain) collected in the year 2008 among people aged 2-60 years. Total anti-HEV was tested by enzyme-immunoassay (EIA), and reactive samples were retested separately for anti-HEV IgG and IgM by recombinant immunoblot test (RIBT). Fifty samples (2.17\%) displayed reactivity for total anti-HEV after EIA testing, and anti-HEV IgG was confirmed by RIBT in 25 (1.08\%). The frequency of RIBT-confirmed anti-HEV ranged from 0.97\% among the youngest to 3.61\% among the oldest, and displayed a statistically significant trend to increasing with age. The rate of RIBT confirmation was also significantly higher among the individuals aged above 20 years old than among those younger of 21 years. HEV infection would be less frequent in the Community of Madrid than in Catalonia or the United Kingdom, and contact with HEV would be very uncommon among children and adolescents of the region. Confirmation of EIA-reactive samples by RIBT reduced the final numbers of anti-HEV testing as much as 50\%, and some findings of this study suggest that such testing protocol would reflect better the real prevalence of anti-HEV in settings of low endemicity than the single testing by EIA. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
This article was published in J Med Virol
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals