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Chung Hua Min Kuo Hsiao Erh Ko I Hsueh Hui Tsa Chih 1998 May;39(3):150-156

Hepatitis E in India.

Tomar BS

Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, S.M.S. Medical College, Jaipur, India. [email protected]

Institute of Pediatric Gastroenterology is superspecialised referral institute for all Pediatric Gastroenterological diseases from all over the country and for adjoining countries. We have our data and experience on 10,500 cases of proven Hepatitis E (HEV) in Pediatric population. HEV is non-enveloped 27-30 nm diameter RNA virus, prototype for alpha-like supergroup of positive stranded RNA virus. Indian HEV strain has 97% nucleotide and 98% amino acid sequence identity with Chinese strains but much diversity with Mexican strain. More than 70% acute hepatitis occurring in Pediatric population in this subcontinent are caused by HEV and 80% of these are sporadic. 90% cases were enterically transmitted, spread primarily by fecally contaminated drinking water (70%) and by food (20%), in 9.5% case spread probably was because of person to person and household contact. We could demonstrate HEV in urine, respiratory secretions. Interestingly we found HEV in insects like Flies, Cockroaches, and also in engorged Bedbugs and in Mosquitoes, apart from briefly boiled Mussels, and partially cooked cockles. Maternal-neonatal transmission could be seen if mother had HEV infection in third trimester of pregnancy. In 5 cases we could demonstrate HEV in breast milk. By studying on 10 volunteers, 40% have anicteric form only accompanied by anorexia, epigastric pain. HEV appeared in serum before the icteric phase. Shedding of virus in stool starts before the icteric phase and continued during the high levels of abnormal ALT. Hepatitis IgG anti-HEV persist up to 4 years. In 5 cases we could establish Transfusion associated Hepatitis (TAH). No chronicity could be documented. 5% cases had fulminant viral Hepatitis (FVH)/Sub fulminant viral Hepatitis (SVH), alpha-interferon (IFN) has been proved beneficial in these cases, further use of intravenous PGEl could also be beneficial. Inadequate chlorination of drinking water was an important additional factor for causing epidemics. A free residual chlorine concentration of at least 0.5 mg/l for minimum of 30 minutes is considered adequate as quality of drinking water.

PMID: 9684519, UI: 98349148