Objectives: The reported prevalence of anti-hepatitis E virus antibodies in HIV-positive patients from industrialized countries varies greatly. It is also difficult to compare these data with the anti-IgG prevalence in the general population because age and sex are not matched in most studies. Moreover, MSM are at increased risk of viral hepatitis.
Methods: HEV is endemic in southwestern France. We investigated therefore 300 HIV-infected patients consecutively attending the out-patient clinic of Toulouse University Hospital. Each HIV-infected patient was matched for sex and age with 2 healthy blood donors from the same area. They were tested for anti-HEV IgM and IgG.
Results: Anti-HEV IgG was found in 116 HIV-infected patients (38.7%) and in 284 matched controls (47.3%, p = 0.027). However, anti-HEV IgG concentration tended to be lower in HIV-patients than in controls. Anti-HEV IgM prevalence was similar HIV-infected patients (3.6%) and in matched controls (3.8%, p = 0.85).
Conclusion: The prevalence and concentrations of anti-HEV IgG in HIV-infected patients from Southern-France were lower than in controls, suggesting a weaker humoral response. But their prevalences of anti-HEV IgM were similar, indicating a high incidence of HEV infection. These data do not indicate that HEV is transmitted sexually.
Keywords: HEV; HIV; Humoral response; Seroprevalence; Sexual transmission.
Copyright © 2016 The British Infection Association. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.