Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a non-enveloped RNA virus transmitted by the fecal-oral route. Autochthonous hepatitis E occurring in developed countries is caused by genotypes 3 and 4 and is a zoonotic infection. Humans are infected mostly after ingestion of undercooked meat from infected animals. Most HEV 3 and 4 infections are clinically inapparent. However, genotype 3 (HEV 3) can lead to chronic hepatitis in immuno-compromised patients such as organ-transplant recipients and patients with haematological malignancies. In Europe, HEV 3 is implicated in transfusion-transmitted HEV infection. In France, as observed in several European countries, prevalence of HEV RNA and specific IgG antibodies are high indicating that viral circulation is important. The systematic HEV NAT screening of blood donations used for preparation of solvent detergent plasma indicate that 1 to 2218 donation is infected by HEV RNA. The need or implementation's impacts of safety measures to prevent HEV transmission by blood transfusion are under reflexion by French's health authorities. The HEV NAT screening is the only available tool of prevention. Alternative strategies are under investigation including individual or mini pool NAT testing all or part of blood donations.
Keywords: Blood transfusion; DGV; HEV; NAT; Prevalence; Prévalence; Transfusion sanguine; VHE.
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