Hepatitis E virus seroprevalence in three hyperendemic areas: Nepal, Bangladesh and southwest France

J Clin Virol. 2015 Sep:70:39-42. doi: 10.1016/j.jcv.2015.06.103. Epub 2015 Jun 29.


Background: Hepatitis E causes a significant burden of disease in developing countries and has recently been increasingly recognized in developed countries. Comparing population anti-hepatitis E virus (HEV) seroprevalence across populations has been difficult.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare the anti-HEV IgG seroprevalence in both adults and children in three hyper-endemic areas (Nepal, Bangladesh and southwest France) using a sensitive, commercial anti-HEV IgG assay.

Study design: Serum or plasma from adults and children in Nepal (n=498), Bangladesh (n=1,009) and Southwest France (n=1031) were tested for anti-HEV IgG using the Wantai assay.

Results: After age-standardization, anti-HEV IgG seroprevalence was 47.1%, 49.8% and 34.0% in Nepal, Bangladesh and southwest France, respectively. There was no difference in seroprevalence by gender in any of the countries. A paucity of infections in children 1-10 years-old was consistently observed (less than 15%) at all 3 locations.

Conclusions: Surprisingly similar high rates of anti-HEV antibodies were detected using a common, sensitive assay. Despite differences in the epidemiology and circulating genotype of HEV in Nepal, Bangladesh and southwest France, this study found more similarities in population seroprevalence than expected.

Keywords: Adult; Child; Hepatitis E Virus; Seroepidemiologic studies.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bangladesh / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Genotype
  • Hepatitis Antibodies / blood
  • Hepatitis Antibodies / immunology
  • Hepatitis E / epidemiology*
  • Hepatitis E / history
  • Hepatitis E / virology*
  • Hepatitis E virus / classification*
  • Hepatitis E virus / genetics
  • Hepatitis E virus / immunology
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / immunology
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nepal / epidemiology
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Young Adult


  • Hepatitis Antibodies
  • Immunoglobulin G