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Vox Sang. 2009 Nov;97(4):303-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1423-0410.2009.01211.x. Epub 2009 Jun 25.

Indigenous hepatitis E virus infection of a plasma donor in Germany.

Author information

1
Center for Biological Safety, Robert Koch-Institut, Berlin, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although Europe is supposed to be non-endemic for hepatitis E virus (HEV), locally acquired human cases are registered, and a relatively high prevalence for anti-HEV was found in blood donors in some European countries. Transfusion-transmitted infections by contaminated blood products were reported in Japan and sporadically in Europe.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Several samples from a plasma donor were screened with a highly sensitive quantitative HEV real-time polymerase chain reaction and the full-length genome was generated. Serology was performed with two different commercially available ELISA kits.

RESULTS:

The full-length genome sequence of human HEV was identified using samples from a plasma donor with acute self-limiting hepatitis. Plasma donated 2 weeks before onset of elevated liver enzyme levels was already positive for HEV RNA (10(4) copies/ml). High viraemia (10(6) copies/ml) correlated with the detection of anti-HEV IgM in the first blood sample with increased alanine transaminase levels. Phylogenetic analyses grouped the isolate within genotype 3, subtype 3f.

CONCLUSION:

The sequence analyses and the epidemiological data revealed that the plasma donor was most probably infected with a swine HEV. This case supports the ongoing discussion of an obligatory HEV nucleic acid testing of blood products for special recipient risk groups.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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