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Hepatitis E in Norway: seroprevalence in humans and swine

  • H. LANGE (a1) (a2), J. ØVERBØ (a3), K. BORGEN (a1), S. DUDMAN (a3), G. HODDEVIK (a3) (a4), A. M. URDAHL (a5), L. VOLD (a1) and S. K. SJURSETH (a5)...

Summary

In Norway, no published data on seroprevalence of hepatitis E virus (HEV) in humans and swine exists. Serum samples from blood donors, veterinarians, swine farm workers and swine were analysed by ELISA to estimate the seroprevalence of HEV in Norway and to investigate the association between direct contact with swine and HEV seroprevalence in humans. The seroprevalence of HEV IgG antibodies was 30% (24/79) in farm workers, 13% (21/163) in veterinarians, 14% (162/1200) in blood donors and 90% (137/153) in swine. Our results show a high seroprevalence of HEV in humans and swine in Norway. HEV seroprevalence in farm workers and blood donors increased with age, and veterinarians working with swine were twice as likely to be HEV seropositive compared to other veterinarians. High HEV seroprevalence in farm workers and veterinarians working with swine support previous reports suggesting swine as a reservoir for HEV infections in humans in Europe.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence: Ms. H. Lange, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, P.O. Box 4404, Nydalen, No-0403 Oslo, Norway. (Email: Heidi.Lange@fhi.no)

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