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AGE-WISE EXPOSURE RATES TO HEPATITIS E VIRUS IN A SOUTHERN INDIAN PATIENT POPULATION WITHOUT LIVER DISEASE

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  • 1 Department of Clinical Virology, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

To determine the age-stratified exposure to hepatitis E virus (HEV) in patients attending a tertiary care hospital in southern India, serum samples from 600 individuals were tested using a commercial HEV IgG enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Subjects were composed of blood donors, antenatal women, and pre-operative individuals who were negative for hepatitis B surface antigen and antibody to hepatitis C virus with no evidence of liver disease; 200 each were 1–5 and 6–15 years old and 100 each were 16–40 and ≥ 41 years old. One (0.5%) sample was positive in those 1–5 years old, two (1.0%) in those 6–15 years old, eight (8%) in those 16–40 years old, and 13 (13%) in those ≥ 41 years old. The overall seropositivity rate was 4%. However, there was an age-related increase in exposure to HEV that was statistically significant (P < 0.001), with a higher HEV seropositivity in urban individuals.

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