Hepatitis E virus infection in HIV-infected patients with elevated serum transaminases levels

Virol J. 2011 Apr 15:8:171. doi: 10.1186/1743-422X-8-171.


Increases in aminotransferases levels are frequently encountered in HIV-positive patients and often remain unexplained. The role in this setting and natural history of hepatitis E in HIV-infected patients are unknown. The aim of the study was to assess HEV infection in HIV-infected patients attending a Parisian hospital, with a current or previous cryptogenic hepatitis.191 plasma samples collected from 108 HIV-infected patients with elevated aminotransferases levels were retrospectively tested for the presence of hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection markers: anti-HEV IgM antibodies, anti-HEV IgG antibodies, anti-HEV IgG avidity index and plasma HEV RNA.One acute infection, documented by positive tests for anti-HEV IgM antibody, low anti-HEV IgG avidity index and plasma HEV RNA (genotype 3e), and three past infections were diagnosed, without any observed case of persistent infection. The acute hepatitis was benign and resolved spontaneously within two weeks. This infection was probably contracted locally. Acute HEV hepatitis can occur in HIV-infected patients but rarely explains cryptogenic hepatitis, at least in an urban HIV population, regardless geographic origin and CD4 counts.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibody Affinity
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • Hepatitis Antibodies / blood
  • Hepatitis E / epidemiology*
  • Hepatitis E / pathology*
  • Hepatitis E / virology
  • Hepatitis E virus / immunology*
  • Hepatitis E virus / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Pakistan / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • RNA, Viral / blood
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Transaminases / blood*


  • Hepatitis Antibodies
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M
  • RNA, Viral
  • Transaminases

Associated data

  • GENBANK/GU084155