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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


HURTADO H, Carmen; MUNOZ G, Gabriela  and  BRAHM B, Javier. Detection of IgM antibodies against hepatitis E virus. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2005, vol.133, n.6, pp.645-647. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: Hepatitis E virus is the main enterically transmitted non A non B hepatitis agent. The host IgM response in the acute infection phase is short lived. Therefore, only IgG antibodies against E virus are usually investigated. Aim: To measure IgM antibodies against virus E in serum samples. Material and Methods: IgM antibodies against virus E were measured by ELISA in 35 positive and 18 negative serum samples for IgG antibodies against hepatitis virus E, without evidence of infection with hepatitis A, B or C virus. Measurement of the same antibodies in 25 additional samples positive for IgM antibodies against hepatitis A virus but without study for hepatitis virus B or C. Results: IgM antibodies against virus E were detected in 12 of the 35 samples positive for IgG antibodies (34%) and in five of the 25 samples positive for antibodies against virus A (20%). Conclusions: An acute hepatitis E virus infection was detected in 34% of samples positive for IgG antibodies against this virus. The absence of IgM antibodies in the rest of the IgG positive samples could be due to an old or a recent virus E infection in the stage of antibody titer reduction. The detection of IgM antibodies against virus E in samples positive for virus A antibodies, could be due to co infection by virus A and E or a cross reaction of assays

Keywords : Antibodies, viral; Hepatitis E virus; Immunologic factors.

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