Prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis E in two rural Egyptian communities

A. D. Fix, M. Abdel-Hamid, R. H. Purcell, M. H. Shehata, F. Abdel-Aziz, N. Mikhail, H. El Sebai, M. Nafeh, M. Habib, R. R. Arthur, S. U. Emerson, G. T. Strickland

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108 Citations (Scopus)


A population-based serosurvey in two rural Egyptian communities was used to assess age-specific prevalence of antibody to hepatitis E virus (anti-HEV). One community is in the Nile Delta (11,182 inhabitants; 3,997 participants) and the other in Upper Egypt (10,970 inhabitants; 6,029 participants). Samples were tested for anti-HEV with a commercial enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) based on antigens derived from open reading frame (ORF)2 and ORF3. Although there was a clear difference in sensitivity among the lots of the commercial test used, it was still possible to determine the seroprevalence. The seroprevalence of anti-HEV exceeded 60% in the first decade of life, peaked at 76% in the second decade and remained above 60% until the eighth decade. Prevalence of this magnitude is among the highest reported in the world, with an age-specific pattern more similar to hyperendemic hepatitis A virus transmission than generally described. Lot-to-lot variation in the sensitivity of the commercial ELISA kit highlights a problem when comparing seroepidemiologic studies of different populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)519-523
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


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