BACKGROUND: Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a major cause of acute hepatitis in developing countries, whereas it is not considered a major health problem in Western World. AIMS: To investigate the spread of HEV and its possible role in causing acute hepatitis in Southern Italy. METHODS: Four hundred and thirty patients observed from April to December 2009 were studied and grouped as follows: 55 individuals with acute hepatitis (AH), 33 of whom cryptogenic; 321 individuals with chronic liver diseases (CLD), (278 Italians and 43 immigrants); 54 individuals without liver disease (control-group). Serum samples from all cases were tested for IgG anti-HEV antibodies and those positive to this test as well as all AH cases were also tested both for IgM anti-HEV and HEV RNA. RESULTS: Two of 33 (6%) cryptogenic AH cases were associated with HEV infection as shown by positive IgM anti-HEV test. Both these patients had not travelled to areas at high HEV endemicity. HEV RNA was not found in any sample tested. IgG anti-HEV antibodies were detected in 5.7% of Italians with CLD and 3.7% of the control-group. No immigrant was found positive for any HEV marker. CONCLUSION: Autochthonous HEV infection is present in Southern Italy where it may cause AH.
|Titolo:||Hepatitis E virus infection as a cause of acute hepatitis in Southern Italy|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2011|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|