Prevalence of enteric hepatitis A and E viruses in the Mekong River delta region of Vietnam.
A study of antibody prevalence for hepatitis A virus (HAV) and hepatitis E virus (HEV) was carried out in southwestern Vietnam in an area adjacent to a known focus of epidemic HEV transmission. The purpose of this investigation was first to provide a prevalence measure of hepatitis infections, and second to determine the outbreak potential of HEV as a function of the susceptible population. Blood specimens collected from 646 persons in randomly selected village hamlets were examined by an ELISA for anti-HEV IgG and anti-HAV IgG. The prevalences of anti-HEV IgG and anti-HAV IgG were 9% and 97%, respectively. There was a significant increase (P < 0.01) in age-specific anti-HEV IgG. A notable increase in anti-HAV IgG prevalence (P < 0.0001) occurred between child populations 0-4 (64%) and 5-9 (95%) years of age. No evidence of familial clustering of anti-HEV IgG-positive individuals was detected, and household crowding was not associated with the spread of HEV. Boiling of water was found to be of protective value against HEV transmission. A relatively low prevalence of anti-HEV indicates considerable HEV outbreak potential, against a background of 1) poor, water-related hygiene/sanitation, 2) dependence on a (likely human/animal waste)-contaminated Mekong riverine system, and 3) periodic river flooding. (+info)
A hepatitis E virus variant from the United States: molecular characterization and transmission in cynomolgus macaques.
The partial sequence of a hepatitis E virus (HEV-US1) isolated from a patient in the United States (US), suffering from acute viral hepatitis with no known risk factors for acquiring HEV, has been reported. These sequences were significantly different from previously characterized HEV isolates, alluding to the existence of a distinct human variant. In this paper, we report the near full-length sequences of HEV-US1 and a second US isolate (HEV-US2). HEV-US2 was identified in a US patient suffering from acute viral hepatitis. These sequences verify the presence of a new HEV strain in North America and provide information as to the degree of variability between variants. The HEV-US nucleotide sequences are 92% identical to each other and only 74% identical to the Burmese and Mexican strains. Amino acid and phylogenetic analyses also demonstrate that the US isolates are genetically distinct, suggesting the presence of three genotypes of HEV. Serum from the second US patient induced hepatitis following inoculation into a cynomolgus macaque. Within 2-4 weeks, HEV-US2 RNA was detectable in both the serum and faecal material coinciding with elevated serum alanine transaminase levels. Infection resolved as antibody titres increased 8 weeks post-inoculation. (+info)
Hepatocellular carcinoma in Egyptians with and without a history of hepatitis B virus infection: association with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection but not with (HCV) RNA level.
The aim of this study was to analyze the association of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) with hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Egypt, using hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis E virus (HEV) as virus controls. In addition, the association of HCC with HCV RNA levels among persons seropositive for HCV was analyzed. We compared 131 patients with proven HCC, 247 with bladder cancer, and 466 healthy hospital employees. Age, sex, and place of residence were recorded to study confounding factors. Among the healthy controls, 16% were seropositive for HCV, 21% for HBV, and 31% for HEV. When healthy controls were age-matched with HCC patients, the latter were significantly (P < 0.001) more often HCV seropositive (67%) than were the controls (30%). The seropositivity for HBV and HEV did not differ significantly in frequency between the two groups. The seropositivity for HCV was also significantly (P < 0.001) more often found in HCC patients (76%) than in BC patients (47%), with seroprevalences for HBV and HEV not differing significantly in these age-matched groups. In HBV-negative HCC and bladder cancer patients, seroprevalence for HCV was significantly (P = 0.002) higher in HCC patients (68%) than in bladder cancer patients (36%). This difference was even more pronounced (P < 0.001) in HBV-positive HCC and bladder cancer patients (78% versus 52%, respectively). Of HCV-seropositive individuals, 49% were HCV RNA positive by branched DNA assay, and of these, 96% were infected by HCV genotype 4. No correlation between HCV RNA load and seropositivity of HBV or age or disease state was found. Infection with HCV and HCV-HBV double infection, but not HBV or HEV infection alone, is strongly correlated with HCC in Egypt. (+info)
Phylogenetic analysis of hepatitis E virus isolates from India (1976-1993).
Seventeen Indian hepatitis E virus (HEV) isolates, representing epidemic and sporadic hepatitis E cases during 1976-1991, were sequenced in the RNA polymerase (RNAP) region. Five isolates were also sequenced in the non-structural hypervariable region of open reading frame 1. Open reading frames 2 and 3 were sequenced only for the prototype isolate. On the basis of the comparison of all the available sequences of the conserved RNAP region, the HEV isolates were divided into three genotypes, differing from each other by >15%. Genotype I included African and Asian isolates, whereas II and III were represented by Mexican and US isolates, respectively. Genotype I was further divided into four sub-genotypes. The majority of the Indian isolates (15/20), along with the Burmese and Nepali isolates, belonged to genotype IA. Genotype IB included HEV isolates from China, Pakistan and the former USSR and 2/20 Indian isolates, which represented the oldest (1976) HEV sequenced so far. Genotype IC included both the African isolates, whereas 3/20 Indian isolates formed genotype ID. Nucleotide sequence analysis of other regions of the HEV genome also placed isolates in the same genotypes. Both the Indian cities experiencing second HEV epidemics, after intervals of 8 and 10 years, showed shifts in the sub-genotypes found; from IB (Ahm-76) to IA (Ahm-84) and from IA (Kol-81) to ID (Kol-91). However, no major shift in the genotypes was noted. Overall, HEV genotypes appear to be segregated geographically. (+info)
Evidence for widespread infection of wild rats with hepatitis E virus in the United States.
Hepatitis E is an important medical pathogen in many developing countries but is rarely reported from the United States, although antibody to hepatitis E virus (anti-HEV) is found in > 1% of U.S. citizens. Zoonotic spread of the virus is suspected. Sera obtained from 239 wild rats trapped in widely separated regions of the United States were tested for anti-HEV. Seventy-seven percent of rats from Maryland, 90% from Hawaii, and 44% from Louisiana were seropositive for anti-HEV. Rats from urban as well as rural areas were seropositive and the prevalence of anti-HEV IgG increased in parallel with the estimated age of the rats, leading to speculation that they might be involved in the puzzling high prevalence of anti-HEV among some U.S. city dwellers. The discovery of a in rats in the United States and the recently reported discovery that HEV is endemic in U.S. swine raise many questions about transmission, reservoirs, and strains of HEV in developed countries. (+info)
Cell culture of sporadic hepatitis E virus in China.
The isolation and identification of the 87A strain of epidemic hepatitis E virus (HEV) by means of cell culturing have been described previously. This paper reports the successful isolation of a sporadic HEV strain (G93-2) in human lung carcinoma cell (A549) cultures. The etiology, molecular and biological properties, and serological relationship of this new strain to other, epidemic HEV strains are described. The propagation of both sporadic and epidemic HEV strains in a cell culture system will facilitate vaccine research. (+info)
Epidemiology of hepatitis B, C, E, and G virus infections and molecular analysis of hepatitis G virus isolates in Bolivia.
Prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis G virus (HGV), and hepatitis E virus (HEV) was investigated among 574 healthy blood donors in Bolivia. HCV RNA and HGV RNA in the serum were identified by a nested reverse transcription-PCR using primers derived from the 5' untranslated region (5' UTR). We also tested for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and for the antibody to HEV. The results revealed that HGV RNA was present in 84 of 574 (14.6%) tested blood donors, whereas HBsAg was detected in only 2 (0.3%) donors, and no individuals positive for HCV RNA were found. Anti-HEV immunoglobulin G (IgG) was detected in 93 (16.2%) individuals and anti-HEV IgM was found in 10 (1.7%) individuals among the same population. Phylogenetic analysis of 44 HGV isolates in the 5' UTR showed that 27 (61%) isolates were genotype 3 (Asian type) and the remaining 17 (39%) isolates were genotype 2 (United States and European type). Moreover, we obtained a full-length nucleotide sequence of the HGV genome (designated HGV-BL230) recovered from a Bolivian blood donor. The BL230 was composed of 9,227 nucleotides and had a single open reading frame, encoding 2,842 amino acid residues. Interestingly, the BL230 belonged to genotype 2 of HGV at the level of a full-length sequence, although this was classified as genotype 3 by a phylogenetic analysis based on the 5' UTR sequence. The BL230 differed from previously reported HGV/hepatitis GB virus type C isolates by 12 to 13% of the nucleotide sequence and 4% of the amino acid sequence. Our data indicate a high prevalence of HGV in native Bolivians, and the major genotype of HGV was type 3. (+info)
The socioeconomic impact of hepatitis E in Nepal.
Hepatitis E disease is responsible for substantial morbidity in Nepal. A socioeconomic analysis was performed to describe the costs and the effects of hepatitis E disease (HE) on health status in a Nepalese population living in the Kathmandu Valley. A modified health status index was used to quantify healthy days lost associated with HE. One hundred thirty-four individuals recently recovered from HE were interviewed in June 1998. The median age was 22 years and 60% were female. Study participants were sick and bedridden for a median of 22 and 10 days, respectively. The median healthy days lost per individual was 35 (768,000 total per region). The median cost of illness per individual, including direct and indirect, was $37 ($1,238,676 total per region). The percentage of yearly income lost for wage earners totaled 19.4%. Hepatitis E disease is associated with significant costs and loss of healthy days in Nepal. Further research is warranted to understand and limit this common disease. (+info)