Indexed on: 16 Mar '13Published on: 16 Mar '13Published in: Journal of Viral Hepatitis
Persistent hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection has been reported among solid-organ transplant recipients in nonendemic areas. Such chronic infections have all been related to genotype 3 HEV, which is prevalent in these areas. Whether persistent infection occurs with genotype 1 HEV, prevalent in areas where the infection is hyperendemic, is unclear. We therefore tested sera from renal transplant recipients receiving immunosuppressive agents in India, where genotype 1 HEV infection is endemic, for alanine aminotransferase levels, and presence of IgM and IgG anti-HEV antibodies and HEV RNA. Of the 205 subjects studied [aged 16-65 (median, 38) years, 182 male], 46 (22.4%) had abnormal ALT levels (>40 IU/mL). IgG anti-HEV was detected in 52 (20.5%) and IgM anti-HEV was detected in 14 (6.8%) subjects, including four who had IgG anti-HEV; antibody positivity had no relation with serum ALT or serum creatinine. All the sera tested were negative for HEV RNA. These findings suggest that chronic infection with genotype 1 HEV is infrequent.