Seroprevalence of hepatitis E virus infection in rural and urban populations, Tunisia


Corresponding author: C. Scholtes, Laboratoire de Virologie, Centre de Biologie Nord, Hôpital de la Croix Rousse, 103, grande rue de la Croix Rousse, F69004, Lyon, France


Clin Microbiol Infect 2012; 18: E119–E121


Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is one of the leading agents of acute hepatitis. This study investigated the prevalence and risk factors of HEV infection in the Tunisian adult general population, either in blood donors (n = 687) or in patients hospitalized for acute hepatitis (n = 202). The mode of transmission differed between these two populations: contact with animals and living in a rural habitat were the main risk factors for being in contact with HEV in asymptomatic blood donors, while HEV was contracted through contaminated water in symptomatic cases. HEV seroprevalence in adult blood donors in Tunisia was relatively low (5.4%) and increased with age.