HealthDay News — The prevalence of hepatitis E virus (HEV) is low in HIV-infected (HIV+) women and men, according to a study published in Hepatology.

Mark H. Kuniholm, PhD, from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, N.Y., and colleagues tested 2,919 plasma samples collected from HIV+ women and men enrolled in U.S. cohort studies for HEV viremia. Real-time polymerase chain reaction was used to confirm positive samples identified using a high-throughput nucleic acid testing platform.

The researchers found that HEV viremia prevalence was three in 2,606 tested plasma samples collected from HIV+ women and zero in 313 tested plasma samples collected from HIV+ men. The HEV isolates were all genotype 3a. One woman had chronic HEV infection for more than four years and two had acute HEV detectable at a single study visit in follow-up testing of stored samples.

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“To our knowledge this is the first reported case of chronic HEV infection in an HIV+ U.S. individual,” the authors write. “We also confirm that chronic HEV infection can persist despite a CD4+ count >200 cells/mm³. These data suggest that HEV infection is rare in the HIV+ U.S. population.”

Two authors are employees of Hologic, which developed the Procleix HEV assay in partnership with Grifols Diagnostic Solutions.


1. Kuniholm M, Ong E, Hogema BM, et al. Acute and Chronic Hepatitis E Virus Infection in HIV-Infected United States Women. Hepatology. 2015;DOI: 10.1002/hep.28384.