HEV seroprevalence in blood donors in Turkey by two commercial total anti-HEV Ab ELISA kits
Bozdayi, A. Mithat
Karatayli, Senem Ceren
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Previous hepatitis E virus (HEV) seroprevalence studies in Turkey have shown high variabilities, leading to conflicting results. We aimed to re-evaluate HEV seroprevalence among blood donors in Turkey using the Wantai (Beijing, China) and the Dia.Pro (Milan, Italy) total anti-HEV antibody (Ab) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits and compare their performances and to investigate the presence of HEV RNA in blood donors. Serum total anti-HEV antibodies were determined in a total of 2011 volunteer blood donor samples collected from different regions of Turkey (807 from Ankara, 243 from Kayseri, 284 from Izmir, 200 from Malatya, 200 from Kahramanmaras, and 277 from Van). HEV RNA was evaluated by a real-time polymerase chain reaction in a total of 272 anti-HEV seropositive samples. The country-wide HEV seroprevalence was calculated as 11.5% (Dia.Pro) and 12.2% (Wantai) with seropositivity rates of 12.0%-12.5% in Ankara, 7.4%-8.2% in Kayseri, 14.5%-15.5% in Malatya, 8.1%-8.8% in Izmir, 15.0%-16.0% in Kahramanmaras, and 12.6%-13.4% in Van by Dia.Pro and Wantai kits, respectively. The lowest detectable Ab concentrations were 0.16 and 0.14 units/mL WHO, for the Dia.Pro and the Wantai assays, respectively, showing no significant difference between assays. HEV RNA was not detected in any of the anti-HEV seropositive samples. Compared with previous studies, HEV was shown to have a higher overall seroprevalence in Turkey. Despite its limitation, the current study represents the most comprehensive HEV seroprevalence study in Turkey performed with two different commercial ELISA assays with high sensitivities so far. Further investigation is required to determine HEV genotypes in Turkey.