Epidemiology of hepatitis E virus in children in the province of Van, Turkey

Turk Pediatri Ars. 2016 Sep 1;51(3):148-151. doi: 10.5152/TurkPediatriArs.2016.4119. eCollection 2016 Sep.


Aim: Hepatitis E virus is an etiological agent of hepatitis which is transmitted enterically and may lead to water-born outbreaks. Although it is mainly transmitted by the fecal-oral route, it is estimated that many cases are associated with zoonotic transmission in developing countries. In this study, we aimed to investigate the seroprevalence of hepatitis E in the childhood age group in the province of Van and to demonstrate the relationship between seroprevalence and demographic properties, residential house/region, water supply used at home, dealing with livestock and history of surgery.

Material and methods: In this study, hepatitis E virus IgG antibody was studied by ELISA method in children aged between 2 months and 18 years between June 2014 and September 2014 in the province of Van.

Results: A total of 408 children and adolescents were enrolled in the study. Hepatitis E IgG was found to be positive in 4.2% of the subjects. 179 (43.8%) of the subjects were female and 229 (56.2%) were male. The mean age was 123 months±56.6 months (minimum 2 months, maximum 214 months). When the seropositivity rates were compared by age groups and gender, no difference was found. No correlation was found between hepatitis E seropositivity and the variables of residence, dealing with livestock and water resources. No correlation was found between anti-hepatits E virus seropositivity and parental education level, number of cohabitants and history of surgery.

Conclusion: In our study, hepatitis E virus seropositivity was found to be lower compared to the mean seropositivity in Turkey. Hepatitis E infection does not constitute a serious problem in children in the province of Van in accordance with the results reported from different parts of our country. Livestock dealing and usage of well water are not considered risk factors for Hepatitis E infection.

Keywords: Adolescent; Turkey; Van; child; hepatitis E.