Seroepidemiology of hepatitis E virus infection in an urban population in Zambia: strong association with HIV and environmental enteropathy.
652 - 657
J Infect Dis
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BACKGROUND: Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection causes major epidemics of infectious hepatitis, with high mortality rates in pregnant women. Recent reports indicate that HEV coinfections with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may have a more protracted course. However, the impact of HEV infections in communities heavily affected by HIV remains poorly studied. We set out to examine age-related seroprevalence in a community where we have previously carried out studies on environmental enteropathy. METHODS: Blood samples from 194 children and 106 adults were examined for immunoglobulin G and immunoglobulin M antibodies for HEV. HEV data were correlated with HIV status and morphometric analysis of small intestinal biopsies. RESULTS: Seroprevalence rose throughout childhood, from 8% in children aged 1-4 years, to 36% in children aged 10-14 years. In adults, the overall prevalence was 42%, with 28% in HIV-seronegative adults and 71% in HIV-seropositive adults (odds ratio, 6.2; 95% confidence interval, 2.2-18; P = .0001). In adults, villous height and crypt depth measurements showed that HEV seropositivity was associated with worse enteropathy (P = .05 and P = .005, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: HEV infection is common in Zambia. In adults it is strongly associated with HIV status, and also with environmental enteropathy.
AuthorsJacobs, C; Chiluba, C; Phiri, C; Lisulo, MM; Chomba, M; Hill, PC; Ijaz, S; Kelly, P
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