Prevalence and clinical features of hepatitis E virus infection in pregnant women: A large cohort study in Inner Mongolia, China

Xiao xia Ma, Minzu Ji, Li Jin, Zulqarnain Baloch, De rong Zhang, Yijin Wang, Qiuwei Pan, Zhongren Ma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Background and aim: Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection causes severe maternal and fetal outcomes in pregnant women. These patients are exclusively from resource-limited regions with genotype 1 HEV infection, but not from western countries with genotype 3 prevalence. Since the circulating strains in China have evolved from the waterborne genotype 1 to the zoonotic genotype 4 HEV in the past decades, this study aims to evaluate the prevalence and clinical features of HEV infection in a large cohort of pregnant women in Inner Mongolia, China. Methods: A total of 3278 pregnant women who visited the Inner Mongolia Maternal and Child Care hospital during 2018 were enrolled. Serum samples were examined for anti-HEV IgG and anti-HEV IgM antibodies using ELISA. Demographic information, results of clinical biochemical tests, maternal and neonatal outcomes were collected. Results: Among the recruited 3278 pregnant women, 6.0% were anti-HEV IgG antibody positive, 0.3% were anti-HEV IgM antibody positive and 0.3% were positive for both anti-HEV IgG and anti-HEV IgM antibodies. HEV viral RNA was not detected. Pregnant women with recent/ongoing HEV infection indicated by anti-HEV IgM positivity have slightly higher ALT level, and potential risk of developing hyperlipidemia, preterm delivery and neonatal jaundice. Conclusions: These findings indicated that HEV infection is associated with a possible increase in adverse maternal, fetal and neonatal outcomes in our cohort. Thus, the burden of HEV infection in pregnant women in China appears distinct from resource-limited regions and western countries. Nevertheless, future studies are required to confirm and extend our findings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101536
JournalClinics and Research in Hepatology and Gastroenterology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

The work was supported by Innovative Research Team in University from Chinese Ministry of Education (No. IRT_17R88 ), the Central Universities Deriving from the Northwest Minzu University (No. 31920200073 ).

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© 2020 The Authors


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