Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
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Hickey C, Spillane D, Benson J, Levis J, Fanning LJ, Cryan B, Prentice MB
Irish Medical Journal
Hepatitis E Virus (HEV) Infection in Ireland.
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Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a single stranded RNA virus causing infection worldwide. In developing countries HEV genotypes 1 and 2 spread faeco-orally via water. Recently, infections with HEV have been detected in Europe and North America in patients with no travel history. These are food-borne HEV genotypes 3 and 4, a pig-associated zoonosis. Most infections are asymptomatic but morbidity and chronic infection may occur with prior liver disease or immunosuppression. International seroprevalence rates vary and with improved diagnostics have increased. To determine the current prevalence in this region we studied anonymised serum samples submitted in 2015 for routine testing. We detected anti-HEV IgG in 16/198 (8%) individuals, highest rate in 40-59 year olds (43.8%). This is higher than reported for the same region in 1995 (0.4%) using a previous generation assay. This study provides evidence of HEV circulation in Ireland and reinforces the need for ongoing surveillance
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