Acute hepatitis E in south-west France over a 5-year period

J Clin Virol. 2009 Jan;44(1):74-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2008.09.010. Epub 2008 Nov 6.


Background: Hepatitis E was found in people living in industrialized countries who had not travelled to highly endemic areas.

Objectives: To study the cases of acute hepatitis E confirmed thanks to viral genomic detection over a 5 years period in south-west France.

Study design: 62 cases of hepatitis E were identified between 2003 and 2007. Their demographic, clinical, and virological features were analyzed.

Results: Cases of acute hepatitis E occurred regularly throughout this period. No seasonal variation was found. Patients, usually male (sex ratio=1.95), were adults living in both urban and rural areas. Sixty (96.8%) patients had not travelled abroad during the 6 months before diagnosis. Clinical manifestations ranged from asymptomatic infection to severe hepatitis. HEV was genotyped in 55 specimens. All the patients who had not travelled abroad were infected with genotype 3.

Conclusion: The incidence of hepatitis E in south-west France was stable from 2003 to 2007, 96.8% of the cases were autochthonous. There was an age-related increase in the disease and patients tended to be men. The predominant genotype and subtype was 3f. However, contaminations pathways involved in hepatitis E in our area remain to clarify.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Genotype
  • Hepatitis E / epidemiology*
  • Hepatitis E / pathology
  • Hepatitis E / physiopathology
  • Hepatitis E virus / classification
  • Hepatitis E virus / genetics
  • Hepatitis E virus / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • Rural Population
  • Seasons
  • Sex Factors
  • Urban Population
  • Young Adult


  • RNA, Viral