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PLoS One. 2013 Jun 26;8(6):e67180. Print 2013.

Seroprevalence of Hepatitis E Virus Infection among Swine Farmers and the General Population in Rural Taiwan.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, National Taiwan University Hospital, Yun-Lin Branch, Yunlin, Taiwan.



Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is an emerging pathogen. We evaluated the seroprevalence of HEV infection among swine farmers and the general population in Taiwan, a nonendemic country.


We conducted a cross-sectional seroepidemiologic study in rural Taiwan in 2012 and 2013. The study included swine farmers, health examination attendees, pregnant women, and students. A commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to detect immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgM against HEV. Pertinent information was collected using a questionnaire.


In total, 660 participants were enrolled in the study, including 156 swine farmers, 314 health examination attendees, 100 pregnant women, and 90 students. IgG anti-HEV was detected in 29.5% of swine farmers, 11.5% of health examination attendees, 2% of pregnant women, and 1.1% of students. Two subjects were positive for IgM anti-HEV. Logistic regression analysis revealed that swine farmers had an approximately 3.5-fold increased risk (odds ratio [OR], 3.46; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.91-6.27; p<0.0001) for being seropositive for IgG anti-HEV as compared to the general population. Age was positively associated with seropositive rate (OR, 1.07 per year; 95% CI, 1.05-1.09; p<0.0001).


HEV infection is prevalent in Taiwan. The seroprevalence of HEV infection is high in swine farmers and in the elderly population.

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