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PLoS One. 2018 Dec 7;13(12):e0208934. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0208934. eCollection 2018.

Hepatitis E prevalence in French Polynesian blood donors.

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CHU Toulouse, Hôpital Purpan, Laboratoire de virologie, Centre national de référence du virus de l'hépatite E, Toulouse, France.
Centre hospitalier de Polynésie française, Centre de transfusion sanguine, Pirae, Polynésie française.
INSERM UMR 1043; CNRS UMR 5282, Centre de Physiopathologie de Toulouse Purpan (CPTP), Toulouse, France.
Centre hospitalier de Polynésie française, Laboratoire de biologie médicale, Pirae, Polynésie française.


The HEV seroprevalence in mainland France is elevated (22.4%). In contrast, anti-HEV seroprevalence appears to be lower in Oceania. However, none is available for French Polynesia. We assessed the anti-HEV IgG and IgM prevalence on samples from 300 consecutive blood donors living on Tahiti and Moorea islands. Epidemiological information was collected using a specific questionnaire. Overall IgM seroprevalence was 0.6% and overall IgG seroprevalence was 7.7%. The presence of anti-HEV IgG was associated with increasing age (p = 0.01), eating chicken offal (p = 0.01) and cooked rabbit (p = 0.02). Conversely, eating fafaru-traditional Polynesian condiment-was associated with a lower rate of anti-HEV IgG (p<0.01).). All donors who surfed or practiced va'a (traditional outrigger canoë) were HEV seronegative. The Polynesian lifestyle and the particular food consumption patterns-especially the very well cooked pork-may be the key to understand the low HEV seroprevalence in French Polynesia.

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