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Seroprevalence of Hepatitis E Among Boston Area Travelers, 2009–2010

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  • 1 National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, Georgia.
  • 2 National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, CDC, Atlanta, Georgia.
  • 3 Department of Global Health and Center for Global Health and Development, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.
  • 4 Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.
  • 5 Department of Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.

We determined the prevalence of IgG antibodies to hepatitis E virus (anti-HEV IgG) among travelers attending Boston-area travel health clinics from 2009 to 2010. Pre-travel samples were available for 1,356 travelers, with paired pre- and post-travel samples for 450 (33%). Eighty of 1,356 (6%) pre-travel samples were positive for anti-HEV IgG. Compared with participants who had never lived in nor traveled to a highly endemic country, the pre-travel prevalence odds ratio (POR) of anti-HEV IgG among participants born in or with a history of previous travel to a highly endemic country was increased (POR = 4.8, 95% CI = 2.3–10.3 and POR = 2.6, 95% CI = 1.4–5.0, respectively). Among participants with previous travel to a highly endemic country, anti-HEV IgG was associated with age > 40 years (POR = 3.7, 95% CI = 1.3–10.2) and travel history to ≥ 3 highly endemic countries (POR = 2.7, 95% CI = 1.2–5.9). Two participants may have contracted HEV infection during their 2009–2010 trip.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Emily S. Jentes, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road, MS E-03, Atlanta, GA 30333. E-mail: ejentes@cdc.gov

Authors' addresses: Kira A. Barbre and Emily S. Jentes, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, GA, E-mails: kirabarbre@gmail.com and ejentes@cdc.gov. Jan Drobeniuc, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, GA, E-mail: jqd6@cdc.gov. Saleem Kamili, National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mail: sek6@cdc.gov. Davidson H. Hamer, Center for International Health and Development, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA, E-mail: dhamer@bu.edu. Elizabeth D. Barnett, Department of Pediatrics, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA, E-mail: elizabeth.barnett@bmc.org.

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