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Seroepidemiology of Hepatitis E Virus in Iranian Soldiers

Keywords: Hepatitis E , Antibody , Soldiers , Iran

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Abstract:

Background and Aims: Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is recognized as a common cause of epidemic and sporadic viral hepatitis. HEV outbreaks have been documented in some military forces in the world. The aim of this study was to evaluate anti-HEV antibody in Iranian soldiers.Methods: In a cross-sectional study, 800 soldiers were selected by simple random sampling in Tehran, Iran in 2006. A questionnaire of demographic data was completed and blood samples were obtained for anti-HEV IgG & IgM antibody. Data were analyzed using student t-test and chi-square using SPSS 12. Results: All soldiers were male and their mean age was 19 ± 1.2. Education level in 553 (69.1%) of them was high school diploma or higher. Anti-HEV IgG antibody was positive in only 9 (1.1%) of them and IgM was negative in all soldiers. Conclusions: Approximately 98% of soldiers were at risk for HEV infection and before discovering an effective vaccine, preparation of healthy drinking water and personal hygiene education should be considered for prevention of hepatitis E infection.

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