Hepatitis E virus infection in haemodialysis patients: A seroepidemiological survey

F. Fabrizi, G. Lunghi, G. Bacchini, M. Corti, A. Pagano, F. Locatelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is the causative agent for enteric non-A, non-B hepatitis. Transmission is via the faecal route but the possibility of transmission by blood has been raised. Data concerning anti-HEV prevalence among chronic haemodialysis (HD) patients are few and give conflicting results. Methods. We tested for anti-HEV antibody 204 chronic HD patients attending a single dialysis unit. A specific solid-phase enzyme-linked immunoassay (Abbott HEV EIA) was used. Results. We found six anti-HEV-positive patients, the anti-HEV prevalence was 3% (95% CI 0-6%). The prevalence rates of HBV and HCV infections were 39% (31-45%) and 22% (16-28%) respectively. No anti-HEV-positive patient showed past or current biochemical signs of liver damage. One of six (17%) anti-HEV-positive patients was an immigrant; no risk factor for anti-HEV antibody was identified in the other anti-HEV-positive individuals. Conclusions. We observed a low anti-HEV prevalence; there was no association between HEV and blood-borne infections (HBV, HCV, and HIV) in our HD patients; most anti-HEV-positive patients we found were probably related to a local infection by HEV. This is one of the first reports concerning seroepidemiology of HEV infection in a large cohort of chronic HD individuals.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-136
Number of pages4
JournalNephrology Dialysis Transplantation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1997


  • Haemodialysis patients
  • Hepatitis E virus
  • IgG anti-HEV antibodies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation


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