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Braz. j. infect. dis ; 23(1): 40-44, Jan.-Feb. 2019. tab
Article in English | LILACS | ID: biblio-1001500


ABSTRACT Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection is one of the major public health problems in developing countries. HEV can cause chronic infections in immunocompromised individuals e.g. thalassemic patients with increased risk of morbidity and mortality. In addition there is possibility of HEV transmission through blood transfusion. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the seroprevalence and risk factors of HEV infection in β-thalassemic children. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted on 140 Egyptian children suffering from β-thalassemia, attending the hematology outpatient clinic from April to October 2016. Serum samples from patients were collected and anti-HEV antibodies; Immunoglobulin G (IgG) and Immunoglobulin M (IgM)were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results: The seroprevalence of HEV in β-thalassemic chidren was relatively high (27.15%). Anti-HEV IgG prevalence was 24.29% while that of IgM was 2.86%. There was significant association between HEV infection and age, residence, liver enzymes and amount of blood transfusion per year. Conclusions: Thalasemic patients are vulnerable to chronicity and increased risk of morbidity and mortality from HEV infection. Frequent assessment of liver enzymes in thalassemic patients to monitor subclinical HEV is recommended. Close monitoring and HEV screening of blood donations should be taken in consideration. Public awareness about HEV endemicity, modes of transmission, and risk hazards especially in high risk group should be done to reduce the disease burden.

Humans , Male , Female , Child, Preschool , Child , Adolescent , Blood Transfusion , Hepatitis E/transmission , Hepatitis E/epidemiology , beta-Thalassemia/epidemiology , beta-Thalassemia/virology , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Prevalence , Cross-Sectional Studies , Multivariate Analysis , Risk Factors , Sex Distribution , Age Distribution , Egypt/epidemiology , Hepatitis B Antibodies/blood , Immunocompetence