Antibodies to hepatitis C virus (anti-HCV) were determined in Chinese blood donors from the city of Wuhan by ELISA screening tests and confirmatory recombinant immunoblot assay (RIBA). 281 and 222 sera were sampled under similar conditions in 1989 and 1990, respectively. The first collection of sera was sent to Sweden in lyophilized form, the second directly as fresh, unfrozen sera. A high proportion (22%) of the lyophilized sera were positive in the screening assay but only 6 (2.10%) were positive by RIBA with antibodies against both the C100-3 and 5-1-1 peptides. HCV RNA could be detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis in 3 of the 6 sera and in one reacting with C100-3 only. In the second material of fresh sera only 3 were positive in the screening anti-HCV ELISA, but none was RIBA or PCR positive. Thus, the overall prevalence of anti-HCV among the 503 Chinese blood donors as identified by RIBA was 1.2%, and that of HCV RNA by PCR was 0.8%. The confirmed antibody prevalence is higher than that reported in the western literature.
Antibody to hepatitis E virus of IgG class (anti-HEV IgG) is regularly detected in industrialized countries, where HEV is non-endemic, at levels not exceeding 2-3%; seropositive individuals are often found in certain groups of patients and professionals exposed to an increased risk of blood-borne infections. The present study was aimed at the identification of anti-HEV IgG in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, including acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), living in Russia and Belarus, an area of low anti-HEV prevalence with a moderate spread of HIV infection and AIDS. In Russia, 13 out of 117 HIV-infected patients (11.1%) were found to be anti-HEV seropositive. This differed significantly from the frequency observed in the normal population (1.7%) but not from the frequency in a matching control, high-risk group consisting of male prisoners (8.0%). No difference in the frequency of anti-HEV IgG seropositivity was found between groups of HIV-infected men subdivided by sexual orientation. The rate of anti-HEV seropositivity increased with the progression of HIV infection, reaching 43.3% in AIDS patients and 38.1% in those who died from AIDS. In Belarus, anti-HEV IgG seropositivity was not found among 20 HIV-infected subjects nor among individuals from the control risk group, which consisted of 25 intravenous drug users. In conclusion, HEV infection may have common transmission mechanisms (risk factors) with HIV infection rather than represent an additional opportunistic infection in AIDS.
The c100 hepatitis C virus (HCV) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) has been used to screen blood donors to prevent transfusion-associated non-A,non-B hepatitis. This test is not specific, and only about 25 percent of c100 HCV ELISA-positive blood samples appear to transmit hepatitis C. However, the intensity of the ELISA (sample/cutoff ratio [S/C], greater than 2) could identify a subpopulation of donors that are at high risk for transmitting hepatitis. Blood samples from 20,186 volunteer blood donors at a Canadian Red Cross blood transfusion center were screened for antibodies to HCV using the c100 HCV ELISA. Fifty-nine (0.3%) of these donors were repeatably reactive on ELISA. When their samples were tested with the c100 recombinant immunoblot assay (RIBA) and second-generation RIBA (RIBA-2), 26 (44%) and 31 (52%) samples, respectively, were found to be positive. Thirty-three of the 59 ELISA-reactive donors had an S/C greater than 2. Of these 33 donors, 30 (91%) had elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT), 27 (82%) were RIBA-2 positive, and 22 (67%) had risk factors for hepatitis. In contrast, of the 26 ELISA-reactive donors with S/C less than 2, only 7 (27%) had elevated ALT, and 4 (15%) were RIBA-2 positive and also had high risk factors for hepatitis. Thus, while the HCV ELISA may lack specificity, its intensity can serve to identify a subgroup of donors that are at high risk for transmitting hepatitis.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate signs of liver disease, and biochemical and immunological markers in blood donors with isolated GBV-C/HGV viremia. METHODS: Eighteen donors with isolated GBV-C/HGV viremia were followed up 3-5 years after initial identification. Testing for GBV-C/HGV RNA, GBV-C/HGV-E2 antibodies and a range of biochemical and immunological tests was performed. Thirteen donors consented to liver biopsy. RESULTS: Twelve donors remained GBV-C/HGV viremic at follow-up. Five donors had developed E2 antibodies. Liver biopsies revealed mild portal inflammatory lesions in 6/11 individuals with persistent viremia, and steatosis in 10/13 biopsied donors. CONCLUSION: Steatosis and mild portal inflammatory lesions were found in liver biopsies from several blood donors with isolated GBV-C/HGV viremia.
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a common cause of acute, fecally transmitted hepatitis in developing countries. Identification of HEV in indigenous human infection and in domestic pig raising the possibility that HEV infection is also a zoonosis.
Molecular detection and epidemiology of HEV in humans (South-East Hungary) with acute hepatitis and in domestic (pig, cattle) and wild (boar and roe-deer) animals (countrywide) by ELISA and RT-PCR.
Between 2001 and 2006, a total of 116 (9.6%) of 1203 human sera were positive by HEV IgM ELISA and 13 (24.5%) of 53 samples were also confirmed by RT-PCR and sequencing. Forty-two (27.3%) of 154, 11 (34.4%) of 32 and 9 (12.2%) of 74 samples were RT-PCR-positive from swine (feces: 22.7%; liver: 30.8%), roe-deer (liver) and wild boar (liver), respectively. Except for an imported infection caused by genotype 1, 19 sequences (human: 12, swine: 4, roe-deer: 1, wild boar: 2) belong to genotype 3 HEV. Genetically identical strains were detected in human and roe-deer and in 2 other human clusters.
HEV is an endemic agent in Hungary. Consumption of raw or undercooked meat-products is one of the possible sources of the indigenous HEV infections. Cross-species infection with genotype 3 HEV potentially involves a food-borne transmission route in Hungary.
To examine the clinical and epidemiologic features of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in a gastroenterology/hepatology practice in Ottawa.
Retrospective chart review.
Sixty-three consecutive patients found to be anti-HCV positive. Their charts were analysed with respect to risk factors, history of hepatitis, serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels and the presence of hepatitis B markers. The long-term sexual partners of 29 patients agreed to undergo HCV antibody testing.
Of the patients 48 (76%) had been exposed to HCV parenterally: 27 used intravenous drugs, and 21 had received blood or blood products. Eleven patients did not have any known risk factor (sporadic infection), but eight of them had lived in countries where hepatitis C may be more prevalent; the other three had locally acquired infection. The mean serum AST level at the first visit was 140 (normally less than 40) IU/L. At least one hepatitis B marker was identified in 33% of the patients. None of the sexual partners who were tested were anti-HCV positive.
Most cases of hepatitis C in Ottawa are acquired through parenteral exposure; sexual transmission is rare. Sporadic infection in the Ottawa region is rare but may be more common in people from countries with a higher prevalence rate of hepatitis C. Most cases of hepatitis C are asymptomatic.
The hepatitis B virus core protein (HBcAg) is a uniquely immunogenic particulate antigen and as such has been used as a vaccine carrier platform. The use of other hepadnavirus core proteins as vaccine carriers has not been explored. To determine whether the rodent hepadnavirus core proteins derived from the woodchuck (WHcAg), ground squirrel (GScAg), and arctic squirrel (AScAg) viruses possess immunogen characteristics similar to those of HBcAg, comparative antigenicity and immunogenicity studies were performed. The results indicate that (i) the rodent core proteins are equal in immunogenicity to or more immunogenic than HBcAg at the B-cell and T-cell levels; (ii) major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes influence the immune response to the rodent core proteins (however, nonresponder haplotypes were not identified); (iii) WHcAg can behave as a T-cell-independent antigen in athymic mice; (iv) the rodent core proteins are not significantly cross-reactive with the HBcAg at the antibody level (however, the nonparticulate "eAgs" do appear to be cross-reactive); (v) the rodent core proteins are only partially cross-reactive with HBcAg at the CD4+ T-cell level, depending on MHC haplotype; and (vi) the rodent core proteins are competent to function as vaccine carrier platforms for heterologous, B-cell epitopes. These results have implications for the selection of an optimal hepadnavirus core protein for vaccine design, especially in view of the "preexisting" immunity problem that is inherent in the use of HBcAg for human vaccine development.
The increasing incidence of reported hepatitis E cases in Europe has focused attention on hepatitis E virus (HEV) and the risk of transfusion-transmitted hepatitis E. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of antibodies to HEV (anti-HEV) among Danish blood donors in 2013 and to compare it to previous studies in Denmark. In addition we wanted to compare the relative reactivity of two different assays.
Samples from 504 blood donors were collected and analyzed for anti-HEV with an in-house assay developed at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). In addition the samples were analyzed with the Wantai anti-HEV assay. Demographic information and possible HEV exposure was collected by self-administered questionnaire.
Using the NIH assay the prevalence of anti-HEV among Danish blood donors was 10.7% and with the Wantai assay the prevalence of anti-HEV was 19.8% (p?
Blood serum samples collected from patients with acute hepatitis symptoms admitted to Infectious Disease Hospitals of Novosibirsk, Barnaul, and Irkutsk were studied. The serum samples were tested for the IgM and IgG antibodies to HEV using ELISA. Seropositive samples were tested using RT-PCR for HEV RNA. Two HEV strains were isolated, and thus HEV infection was identified for West Siberia. One of this strains is classified as HEV genotype I; the other, as genotype III. Cell culturing of these strains in green monkey kidney (4647) cells showed an ability of HEV genotype I strain to cause persistent infection.