14 Nov 2014

Hepatitis E in Australian HIV-infected patients: An under-recognised pathogen?

A CCS study has assessed the seroprevalence of Hepatitis E virus in a cohort of HIV-infected patients with normal liver function and in another group with biochemical hepatitis.

According to the study. Hepatitis E virus infection has been found to cause chronic hepatitis in HIV-infected patients.

In Australia, where Hepatitis E virus  is nonendemic, background seroprevalence is reportedly low but has not been evaluated in the HIV-infected population.

Patients were selected from the Victorian HIV Blood and Tissue Storage Bank and stored plasma was tested. It found that the seroprevalence of Hepatitis E virus in this Australian HIV-infected cohort is higher than the estimated background prevalence in the HIV-negative population. In patients coinfected with hepatitis C, the degree of alanine aminotransferase elevation was significantly worse.  Hepatitis E virus may contribute to the development of abnormal liver function.

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