Seroepidemiology of Hepatitis E virus among the voluntary blood donors in the coastal region of Karnataka, India

S. Sangthang, Shamee Shastry, N. Sudheesh, Kiran Chawla, Mridula Madiyal, Dhivya Kandasamy

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Background: Hepatitis E is a fecal orally transmitted disease and an emerging transfusion transmissible infection with potential transfusion safety implications. Hepatitis E Virus screening among blood donors is not routinely done despite the fact that it is endemic in India. As there are very few reports and evidence, the justification for mandating HEV screening among blood donors is still only marginally convincing. Therefore, the present study was carried out to determine the incidence and prevalence of HEV infection among blood donors in Coastal Karnataka, India. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted in a tertiary care hospital in Udupi district of Karnataka, India. A total of 1939 blood donors were randomly selected between June 2020 to June 2022 to participate in the study, where anti-HEV IgM antibody screening was performed using HEV IgM ELISA test kit (DiaPro, Italy). Further, a randomly selected 588 and 1620 pooled donor samples were screened for anti-HEV IgG antibodies and HEV RNA, respectively. Results: The overall prevalence of HEV IgM antibodies among study application is found to be 1.39%, with a statistically significant difference between males and females (n=20, 1.18% vs. n=7, 3.07 %; p=0.027). The prevalence of HEV IgG antibodies was 11.39%. Exposure to agriculture, animal husbandry, and poor hand hygiene were significant risk factors for HEV IgG reactivity. Conclusions: Given the high prevalence of HEV viral markers in the study population, routine screening of blood donors for risk factors and implementation of serologic testing in endemic areas may be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Article number266
Publication statusPublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)


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