High prevalence of anti-hepatitis E virus antibodies in blood donors from South West France

Virology Laboratory, Purpan University Hospital, Toulouse Cedex 9, France.
Journal of Medical Virology (Impact Factor: 2.35). 02/2008; 80(2):289-93. DOI: 10.1002/jmv.21056
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cases of autochthonous acute hepatitis E occur in most industrialized countries and are frequent in the South West of France. The prevalence of anti-hepatitis E virus (HEV) IgG antibodies in blood donors in this area was determined. A total of 529 samples from rural and urban blood donors were tested. The overall prevalence was 16.6%, 19.1% of rural donors and 14.2% of urban donors had anti-HEV antibodies (P = 0.13). The antibodies were widely distributed among all age groups and the sex ratio of the anti-HEV positive blood donors was 1.12 (P = 0.57). Hunting was the only pastime or profession associated with a high prevalence of anti-HEV antibodies (P = 0.038). The frequency of anti-HEV antibodies in blood donors could reflect active autochthonous transmission in this area of France. As the risk factors for HEV infection in industrialized countries are still unknown, further studies are needed to clarify the epidemiology of HEV infection in the Midi-Pyrénées region.

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    • "There is evidence indicating that HEV-3 infection can be transmitted by undercooked offal or meat, which highlights the zoonotic nature of the infection (Hoofnagle et al., 2012). The prevalence of HEV antibodies is high in developed countries (21% in the US and 7% in Europe, with a maximum of 16% in the area of Toulouse in France) (Kuniholm et al., 2009; Mansuy et al., 2008), thus suggesting a possibly low rate of symptomatic infections associated with genotype 3. In Italy, the prevalence of anti-HEV antibodies is 3–6%, with autochthonous (not travel related) cases mainly due to genotype 3 representing about 16% of the annually reported cases (Romano et al., 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis E virus is classified into four genotypes that have different geographical and host distributions. The main cause of sporadic autochthonous type E acute hepatitis in developed countries is genotype 3, which has a worldwide distribution and widely infects pigs. The aim of this study was to make hypotheses concerning the origin and global dispersion routes of this genotype by reconstructing the spatial and temporal dynamics of 208 HEV genotype 3 ORF-2 sequences (retrieved from public databases) isolated in different geographical areas. The evolutionary rates, time of the most recent common ancestors (tMRCAs), epidemic growth and phylogeography of HEV-3 were co-estimated using a MCMC Bayesian method. The maximum clade credibility tree showed the existence of two distinct main clades: clade A, which consists of only European subtypes (HEV-3e and 3f), and clade B, which consists of European subtype 3c and all of the Asian subtypes (3a, 3b and 3d) sharing a common ancestor, which most probably existed in Asia in 1920s. All of the North American isolates belonged to Asian subtype 3a. On the basis of our time-scaled phylogeographical reconstruction, we hypothesise that after originating in the early 1800s in Europe, HEV reached Asia in the first decades of 1900, and then moved to America probably in the 1970s-1980s. Analysis of the skyline plot showed a sharp increase of the number of infections between the 1980s and 2005, thus suggesting the intervention of new and highly efficient routes of transmission possibly related to changes in the pig industry.
    Infection, genetics and evolution: journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases 04/2014; 25. DOI:10.1016/j.meegid.2014.04.016 · 3.02 Impact Factor
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    • "Indeed, by using more sensitive assays, recent HEV IgG seroprevalence studies conducted in France have produced much higher results than earlier studies [7]. Significant epidemiological differences also exist within the same country: previous studies have reported seroprevalence rates among blood donors five-fold higher in south-west (16.6%) [5] than in north of France (3.2%), though using the same assay [6]. This finding was confirmed by a higher frequency of clinically apparent HEV infections in the south of France [9]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis E Virus (HEV) infection has a poor prognosis among pregnant women from high endemic countries. HEV-prevalence and incidence among pregnant women is unknown in high-income countries such as France. This prospective study was conducted to assess HEV infection in this setting. An overall HEV prevalence of 7.74% was observed among 315 pregnant women. Seroprevalence was higher in south than in north of France (29.3% vs. 3.6%, p < 0.0001), and women with detectable IgG were older. No IgG seroconversion or IgM detection were observed during pregnancy. Data suggest that HEV infection is a rare occurrence during pregnancy even in regions of western countries with high seroprevalence rates.
    Virology Journal 04/2014; 11(1):68. DOI:10.1186/1743-422X-11-68 · 2.18 Impact Factor
    • "The seroprevalence in our study is comparable with that of Switzerland.[23] The study conducted among 200 blood donors in Pune, India has shown HEV RNA prevalence of 1.5%.[16] "
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is emerging as a potential threat to blood safety after several cases of transmission by transfusion or transplantation have been described. Currently, blood donors in India are not screened for HEV. The studies conducted on HEV in recent times in India have focused on epidemiology and future perspectives, but there is no published study on blood donors. To address possible issues surrounding blood safety and risk of HEV transmission within the Indian blood supply, HEV seroprevalence study was conducted in blood donors at our center. A total of 460 male voluntary blood donors were selected for the study and after taking their written consent. Serum anti-HEV IgM was detected by Dia.Pro HEV kit (Diagnostic Bioprobes Srl, Milano, Italy). The study population was composed of 460 male voluntary blood donors and their age ranged from 18 to 60 years with a mean age of 30.48 years. Out of 460 donors, 22 (4.78%) donors were tested positive for IgM anti-HEV and the mean value alanine aminotransferase (ALT) was 26.06 IU/L, the highest being 93.5 IU/L. Normal reference value of ALT in our center was 40 IU/L. Out of 22 anti-HEV positive donors, 19 (86.36%) had ALT values above 40 IU/L. HEV seroprevalence of 4.78% in our center. Though reports of HEV transmission through blood has been reported from various parts of the world, before making it as a mandatory screening test among blood donors in India, further studies with confirmatory assay of HEV need to be done.
    Asian Journal of Transfusion Science 03/2014; 8(1):29-31. DOI:10.4103/0973-6247.126685
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