Seroprevalence of Hepatitis E Virus in Autoimmune Hepatitis Patients in the Netherlands

Dutch Autoimmune Hepatitis Study Group, Ger Koek

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24 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

In recent years chronic courses of hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection have been described in immunosuppressed individuals. This may implicate a potential role for HEV in the development of autoimmune diseases, including autoimmune hepatitis (AIH). Here we investigated the prevalence of HEV-antibodies in AIH patients in an endemic Central European country.HEV-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) and HEV RNA were determined in 354 and 377 AIH patients, respectively. Clinical characteristics and disease outcome parameters were retrospectively collected.No HEV viraemic patients were identified in this cohort. A total of 106 AIH patients (29.9%) tested positive for anti-HEV IgG, and this figure was slightly higher compared to the prevalence in a reference cohort including 5,329 healthy Dutch blood donors (26.7%; P>0.05).This is the largest study on the association between HEV infection and AIH. Apparently silent HEV infection is present in a significant proportion of AIH patients, yet appears not to have significant clinical repercussions in this immune compromised group of patients. Nevertheless, since acute hepatitis E may present with histological and biochemical features of AIH, the possibility of a (concomitant) HEV infection should be considered in this category of patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-13
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016

Keywords

  • hepatitis E virus infection
  • autoimmune hepatitis
  • anti-HEV IgG
  • prevalence

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