Seroprevalence for hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection among volunteer blood donors of the Regional Blood Bank of Londrina, State of Paraná , Brazil
Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo
A cross-sectional study was carried out among 996 volunteer blood donors enrolled from May 1999 to December 1999 to determine the seroprevalence of hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection among volunteer blood donors of the Regional Blood Bank of Londrina, State of Paraná, Brazil, and to evaluate whether the rate of seroprevalence of IgG anti-HEV antibodies is associated with sociodemographic variables and with seropositivity for hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection. All participants answered the
... nnaire regarding the sociodemographic characterisitcs. Serum samples were tested for IgG antibodies to HEV (anti-HEV) by an enzyme linked immunoassay (ELISA). All serum samples positive for anti-HEV IgG and 237 serum samples negative for anti-HEV were also assayed for IgG anti-HAV antibodies by ELISA. Anti-HEV IgG was confirmed in 23/996 samples, resulting in a seroprevalence of 2.3% for HEV infection, similar to previous results obtained in developed countries. No significant association was found between the presence of anti-HEV IgG antibodies and the sociodemographic variables including gender, age, educational level, rural or urban areas, source of water, and sewer system (p > 0.05). Also, no association with seropositivity for anti-HAV IgG antibodies was observed (p > 0.05). Although this study revealed a low seroprevalence of HEV infection in the population evaluated, the results showed that this virus is circulating among the population from Londrina, South Brazil, and point out the need of further studies to define the clinical and epidemiological importance of HEV infection and to identify additional risk factors involved in the epidemiology and pathogenesis of this infection in this population.