Background: Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is an emerging cause of acute hepatitis in industrialized countries. HEV infection can evolve to chronic hepatitis in immunocompromised patients. Additionally, HEV reactivation after haematopoietic stem cell transplantation has been reported.
Objective: To assess the prevalence of anti-HEV antibodies in patients who underwent haematopoietic stem cell transplantation in south-western France and the risk of HEV reactivation after transplantation.
Study design: We have investigated the prevalence of anti-HEV antibodies in 88 patients who underwent allogenic or autologous haematopoietic stem cell transplantation with two anti-HEV IgG assays and have evaluated the risk of HEV reactivation in pretransplant seropositive patients by testing for HEV RNA in blood samples collected after stem cell transplantation.
Results: While only 11 patients (12.5%) tested positive for anti-HEV IgG with the Adaltis assay, 32 patients (36.4%) tested positive for anti-HEV IgG with the Wantai assay before transplantation. Three anti-HEV IgG positive patients were also anti-HEV IgM positive. Plasma HEV RNA was negative in all the patients before transplantation. We looked for HEV reactivation in pretransplant seropositive patients by testing 89 blood samples for HEV RNA 1, 3 and 6 months after transplantation. We detected no reactivation. Similarly, we detected no HEV RNA in pretransplant seronegative patients after transplantation.
Conclusion: Despite strong immunosuppression, the risk of HEV reactivation after stem cell transplantation appears to be very low.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.