Aim: The aim of our study was to determine the prevalence of hepatitis E virus (HEV) among pregnant and non-pregnant women in Middle Anatolia, identify the factors that affect being HEV positive and to study the effects of HEV positivity on mother and fetus.
Methods: The study included 245 pregnant women who applied to various health centers and 76 cases in the same age range as the control. Blood samples taken from the cases were tested in terms of anti-HEV, IgM and IgG using the microELISA method.
Results: None of the blood samples tested revealed anti-HEV IgM positive, an indicator of acute infection, while 31 pregnant women (12.6%) and nine cases in the control group (11.8%) were found to have anti-HEV IgG positive (P > 0.05). It was seen that in pregnant women such factors as advanced age, lower educational and income levels and rural residence were correlated with higher anti-HEV IgG positive values (P < 0.05). HEV infection is endemic in Afyon and its vicinity. There were no statistical differences between pregnant women and non-pregnant women at similar ages in terms of HEV seropositivity.
Conclusion: It can be suggested that pregnancy does not constitute a predisposition to HEV infection.