Hepatitis E virus in Isfahan Province: a population-based study

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Introduction: Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is an enterically transmitted acute viral hepatitis with the highest incidence in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Central America. There are few published data on the epidemiology of the infection in Iran. Hence, this study was carried out to evaluate anti-HEV seroprevalence in Isfahan Province, Iran. Methods: In 2005, a cross-sectional study of 816 subjects over 6 years of age from urban and rural areas of Isfahan Province, selected using the multistage cluster sampling method, was undertaken. Demographic data and blood samples were collected, and anti-HEV antibodies were measured by ELISA method. The Chi-square test was used for statistical analysis and p < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: Of the study subjects, 428 were female (52.5%) and 388 were male (47.5%). The overall anti-HEV seroprevalence rate was 3.8%. There was no significant difference in HEV seropositivity between the subjects grouped according to gender (4.2% in females and 3.4% in males, p = 0.78), household number (p = 0.95), and area of residence (2.7% in rural and 4.1% in urban areas, p = 0.09). HEV seroprevalence increased with age from 0.9% in children aged 6-9 years to 8.1% in persons over 50 years old, without statistical differences (p = 0.08). There were statistical differences in HEV seropositivity in the different regions of Isfahan Province, with the highest prevalence seen in Khomeini Shahr (13.3%; p < 0.001). Conclusion: HEV seroprevalence in Isfahan Province is lower than that previously reported in other parts of Iran and the Middle East area. More studies in other parts of Iran are needed to obtain a prevalence map for creating preventional strategies. © 2008 International Society for Infectious Diseases.

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Ataei, B., Nokhodian, Z., Javadi, A. A., Kassaian, N., Shoaei, P., Farajzadegan, Z., & Adibi, P. (2009). Hepatitis E virus in Isfahan Province: a population-based study. International Journal of Infectious Diseases, 13(1), 67–71. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijid.2008.03.030

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