High seroprevalence of hepatitis e virus (HEV) in South Transdanubia, Hungary (2010-2022)

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Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is an increasingly recognized etiological agent of acute, chronic and extrahepatic human infections with primarily zoonotic origin in Europe. Limited numbers of comprehensive population-based studies are available related to HEV seroepidemiology, especially from Central Europe. The aim of this study was to investigate the seroprevalence and trends of total and IgM antibodies against HEV in different age groups in the population of South Transdanubia, Hungary, within a thirteen years long period between the years 2010 and 2022. We retrospectively analysed the serological test results of HEV total and HEV IgM antibodies carried out by ELISA technique using Dia.Pro (Diagnostic Bioprobes, Italy) kit from serum samples collected from patients with or without hepatitis between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2022. The number of tested samples (6,996 for total antibody and 6,582 for IgM) increased during the study period. The average HEV total and the IgM antibody seropositivities were 33% (2,307/6,996 samples) and 9.6% (642/6,582 samples), respectively, in the study population. The HEV total antibody seropositivity varied in different age groups between 3.9% (age group 1-5 years) and 58.6% (86-90 years) and showed an increasing positivity by age. At the age groups >50 years, nearly half (43%) of the population had antibodies against HEV. The HEV IgM positivity had an increasing trend of up to 13.9% in the age group 81-85 years. High HEV total and IgM antibody seroprevalence were detected in South Transdanubia, Hungary, confirming that this region is highly endemic for HEV infections in Europe.




Balazs, B., Boros, A., Pankovics, P., & Reuter, G. (2023). High seroprevalence of hepatitis e virus (HEV) in South Transdanubia, Hungary (2010-2022). Acta Microbiologica et Immunologica Hungarica, 70(2), 119–125. https://doi.org/10.1556/030.2023.02010

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