Submitted: 14 Nov 2014
Revised: 28 Dec 2014
Accepted: 06 Jan 2015
First published online: 23 May 2015
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AvicennaJ Clin Microbiol Infect. 2015;2(2): e25339.
doi: 10.17795/ajcmi-25339
  Abstract View: 15
  PDF Download: 14

Research Article

Seroprevalence of Antibodies to Hepatitis E Virus Among Pregnant Women

Mojgan Mamani 1, Mehrangiz Zamani 2, Seyyed Hamid Hashemi 1, Fariba Keramat 1 *

1 Brucellosis Research Center, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, IR Iran
2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Fatemieh Hospital, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, IR Iran
Corresponding author: Fariba Keramat, Brucellosis Research Center, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, IR Iran. Tel: +98-9181113281, Email: faribakeramat@yahoo.com

Abstract

Background: Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection is a major public health problem in developing countries, which could progress to an acute self-limited hepatitis. Young adults and middle-aged people are more likely to be infected than children and elderly persons. The disease is usually mild in general population; severe infection is more seen among pregnant women and leads to a high rate of mortality in this population.

Objectives: This study aimed to assess seroprevalence of HEV infection and related risk factors among pregnant women referred to Fatemieh Hospital in Hamadan, Iran.

Patients and Methods: A total of 1050 pregnant women were included in this prospective cross-sectional study, conducted from 2010 to 2011. Anti-HEV specific IgG was measured with ELISA method. A questionnaire containing research purposes was also fulfilled for each participant.

Results: The mean age of pregnant women was 27.2 ± 5.6 years. The overall seroprevalence of anti-HEV was 7.4%. There was a significant association between anti-HEV seropositivity and age (P < 0.001), degree of education (P = 0.017), number of household members (P = 0.002), siblings (P = 0.005), and parities (P = 0.007). However, no significant relationship was observed between positive anti-HEV and variables such as place of residence, occupation, history of animal contacts, agricultural activities, type of drinking water, and the method of washing vegetables (P > 0.05).

Conclusions: According to the results, 92.6% of pregnant women were anti-HEV negative. However, there is no available effective vaccine for its prevention in human yet. Therefore, education about environmental and personal hygiene before and during pregnancy may be helpful for decreasing the rate of HEV infection in this high risk population.

Copyright © 2015, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.
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