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J Gastrointestin Liver Dis. 2016 Mar;25(1):9-13. doi: 10.15403/jgld.2014.1121.251.hpe.

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

Author information

1
Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. n.vangerven@vumc.nl.
2
Department of Virology, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
3
Department of Blood-borne infections, Sanquin Blood Supply Foundation, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
4
Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, VU University Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
5
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, VU University Medical Centre,Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
6
Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND AIMS:

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.

METHODS:

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.

RESULTS:

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).

CONCLUSION:

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.

PMID:
27014749
DOI:
10.15403/jgld.2014.1121.251.hpe
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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