Serologic identification of hepatitis E virus infections in epidemic and endemic settings

J Med Virol. 1992 Apr;36(4):246-50. doi: 10.1002/jmv.1890360403.


Recombinant chimeric protein C2 containing the N-terminal region of trpE (37 kilodaltons [kDa]) and the C-terminal half (46.8 kDa) of the polypeptide encoded by ORF2 of the hepatitis E virus (HEV) genome was used for the construction of a Western blot diagnostic test for IgG and IgM antibodies to the virus (anti-HEV). (The C2 protein and the trpE protein devoid of C2 activity and used as a control for non-specific reactions were purified by recovery from sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis [SDS-PAGE] and used for preparation of strips). Specificity of the test was proven with sera obtained from patients with acute hepatitis non-A, non-B, non-C (NANBNC) from outbreaks in different geographic regions of the world. IgG antibodies reactive to the recombinant C2 protein were detected in 93% of patients with acute hepatitis NANBNC and remained detectable in 89-100% of these patients 1-24 months after onset of jaundice. IgM antibodies were detected in 73% of patients within 26 days after onset of jaundice, in 50% 1-4 months after onset, in 6% 6-7 months after onset, and in no patients by 8 months after onset. When this test was used to identify sporadic hepatitis E cases in different regions of the world, such cases were found almost exclusively in areas where outbreaks of the disease had occurred and rarely in any other regions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blotting, Western
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Hepatitis Antibodies / blood
  • Hepatitis E / epidemiology*
  • Hepatitis E virus / classification
  • Hepatitis E virus / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Recombinant Proteins / immunology
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies


  • Hepatitis Antibodies
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • Recombinant Proteins