Original article / research
Prevalence of Hepatitis A Virus and Hepatitis E Virus Infection in the Patients Presenting with Acute Viral Hepatitis in Eastern India: A Cross-sectional Study
Associate Professor, Department of Virology, IGIMS, Patna-800014, Bihar, India.
Introduction: Enterically transmitted Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) and Hepatitis E Virus (HEV) are the most common cause of Acute Viral Hepatitis (AVH) and a major health concern in developing nations like India. Both viruses cause AVH and are spread predominantly through the faecal-oral pathway, most commonly through contaminated water.
Aim: To estimate the prevalence of HAV and HEV infection in patients presenting with AVH.
Materials and Methods: An analytical cross-sectional study was undertaken in Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Bihar, India. The study was conducted over a period of 24 months from November 2019 to October 2021. All patients presenting with AVH were included as study participants. The blood samples were subjected to test anti-HAV and anti-HEV positivity. Prevalence of HAV and HEV was calculated taking total cases of AVH as denominator. Patients with confirmed infection with HCV, HBV and any other cause of hepatitis were excluded from the study. Templates were generated in an Microsoft excel spreadsheet and analysis of data was done using Statistical Package of the Social Sciences software (SPSS) version 20.0. Quantitative data were presented as frequency and percentages.
Results: A total of 682 patients presented with acute hepatitis. The AVH patients comprised 467 (68.5%) males and 215 (31.5%) females with the mean age 39.6±18.87 years. The current study reports the seroprevalence of 9.19% HAV and 8.35% of HEV. A total of four patients tested positive for coinfection with HAV and HEV. Most of the HAV patients belonged to an age group less than or equal to 12 years 25 (58.1%) and none were more than 60 years. However, none of the HEV patients were children and most of them were aged between 13-60 years 46 (92%). A male preponderance among HAV 31 (65.9%) and HEV 41 (75.9%) was noted.
Conclusion: Low seroprevalence was noted, with infection more common in younger age group and male patients. Further studies and vaccination along with surveillance system strengthening are warranted.
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