Seroprevalence of Hepatitis E Virus (HEV) Antibodies in Human Populations of Sokodé, Togo

Author(s): Komi Victor-Mari Setondji, Kuan Abdoulaye Traoré, Jean-Bienvenue Ouoba, Essodolom Taale, Bruno Lalidia Ouoba, Bissah Kokou Nyakou, Pierre Roques, Simplice Damintoti Karou and Nicolas Barro

Background: Hepatitis E virus (HEV) antibodies prevalence is reported globally worldwide. However, there is still some countries where data are not well reported or even studied as in Togo. The aim of this study was to evaluate the seroprevalence of HEV among human populations and analyze demographic variables related to the infection in the city of Sokodé, in central area of Togo.

Results: A total of 289 individuals including 195 blood donors (24 women and 171 men), and 94 pregnant women were recruited from May to October 2020 and socio-economic status were assessed. All obtained sera were tested for the presence of anti-HEV antibodies with the immunochromatography test (MP Diagnostics ASSURE IgM Rapid test) and the MP Diagnostics HEVIgM and HEV-IgG ELISA. The association between anti-HEV status and potential risk factors was assessed. Total HEV antibodies were in 5.6% (95% CI: 3.8 - 7.3%) of all samples. HEV IgM antibodies were detected in 11.7% (95% CI: 9.8-13.5%) of the samples, of which 29 (14.8%) were from the blood donors group and 5 (5.3%) from pregnant women group. Gender, water storage container, type of latrine used and washing hands after toilet were associated to anti-HEV IgM seropositivity in population (p ≤ 0.05).

Conclusion: These findings from asymptomatic population suggest a probable HEV circulation at significant levels. These data are the first step to understand the epidemiology of the HEV infection in Togo that deserved to be extended both in timing and Togo’s region.

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