Background & Objectives: Hepatitis E is usually self-limited, but may be associated with high mortality in some situations. Hepatitis E virus (HEV) has a fecal-oral transmission cycle and is transmitted through environmental contamination, mainly water. Previous studies have shown that, HEV is responsible for more than 50% of acute hepatitis cases in young patients in developing countries. This study was aimed to determine the prevalence of anti-HEV antibodies among pediatric patients in Tabriz Children Hospital
Materials and Methods: The study was a cross sectional and descriptive-analytical survey on the children who had been referred to clinic of Tabriz children hospital. For each patient, demographic data including age, sex, area of residence, method of sewage and waste disposal and type of water supply, history of animal contact, history of surgery, blood transfusion and parent's addiction were recorded in questionnaires. Serum levels of specific anti-HEV IgG antibody were measured. The relationship between seropositivity and demographic characteristics was investigated.
Results: A total of 252 children aged 2-16 years were studied. In 9 patients (3.6%), the sample was positive for anti-HEV IgG antibody consisting of 5 boys (2%) and 4 girls (1.6%). There was no significant statistic relationship between our demographic characteristics and seropositivity.
Conclusion: This study revealed 3.6% seropositivity for anti HEV antibody in children living in Tabriz. According to the present study, the prevalence of HEV is considerable in Iran. Thus HEV study is strongly recommended in the approach to all clinical hepatitis cases.