Prevalence of hepatitis e virus infection among blood donors in the eastern province of saudi arabia

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Abstract

Purpose: Hepatitis E virus (HEV) causes acute hepatitis in humans and constitutes a major problem for immunocompromised patients, patients with hematological diseases, and pregnant women. It is transmitted mainly through fecal oral route; however, transmission through blood and blood products is reported globally and becoming a health concern. We sought to determine the prevalence of HEV among blood donors in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia using molecular as well as serological assays to assess the safety of blood transfusion and the need for HEV screening among blood donors. Patients and Methods: A total of 806 whole blood samples were collected from blood donors between May and November 2020 and tested for anti-HEV IgG and IgM antibodies by ELISA and for HEV RNA by RT-PCR. Results: The overall seroprevalence of HEV IgG antibodies was 3.2% with no statistically significant difference between the non-Saudis (3.28%) and Saudis (3.17%) (p value 0.929) or between males (3.14%) and females (4.88%) (p value 0.527). None of the IgG positive individuals had IgM antibodies. HEV RNA was not detected in any of the blood donors. Conclusion: HEV seroprevalence is low among blood donors in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia and may constitute minimal risk for transfusion associated infections.

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Al Dossary, R. A., Alnafie, A. N., Aljaroodi, S. A., Ur Rahman, J., Hunasemarada, B. C., & Alkharsah, K. R. (2021). Prevalence of hepatitis e virus infection among blood donors in the eastern province of saudi arabia. Journal of Multidisciplinary Healthcare, 14, 2381–2390. https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S328029

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