Background: Few data are available on the incidence, risk factors and contamination pathways involved in acute indigenous hepatitis E in developed countries.
Aims: To draw up an overall picture of hepatitis E cases, to confirm whether or not the majority of the cases were indigenous and to attempt to identify the risk factors and contamination pathways involved in hepatitis E.
Methods: This study was performed in the framework of a national network (ANGH) including 96 participating centres. The 19 centres with at least one case of acute HEV reported a total number of 53 cases.
Results: A decreasing South-to-North geographic gradient was observed. A nonspecific clinical profile was observed in many cases. Acute hepatitis E was of indigenous origin in 90% of the patients. The most relevant and/or frequent possible risk factors among the 47 indigenous metropolitan cases were water consumption from a personal water supply, uncooked shellfish consumption and the recent acquisition of a pet pig.
Conclusions: This national survey confirmed that acute indigenous hepatitis E is an emerging disease in developed countries such as France, and suggests that various risk factors are responsible for acute indigenous hepatitis E contamination in non-endemic countries.