Hepatitis E Virus Antibodies in Finnish Veterinarians.

Abstract

We investigated hepatitis E virus (HEV) infections in Finnish veterinarians engaged in different practice specialties and evaluated the effect of different background factors on HEV exposure by examining total HEV antibodies in samples collected from the participants of the 2009 National Veterinary Congress in Helsinki, Finland. Finnish veterinarians commonly have total HEV antibodies with seroprevalence of 10.2%. Of the non-veterinarians, 5.8% were seropositive. Increasing age was associated with HEV seropositivity, and, surprisingly, the highest HEV seroprevalence (17.8%) among veterinarians was detected among small animal practitioners. Although no positive correlation between swine contacts and HEV seropositivity was found, 22.7% of veterinarians who had had needle stick by a needle that had previously been injected into a pig versus 9.0% of those who had not were seropositive, even though the finding was statistically non-significant (P = 0.07). Our results suggest that, although contact with swine is a known risk factor for HEV infection, the sources of HEV infections are probably numerous, including travelling abroad and possibly also other reservoirs of HEV than pigs.

DOI: 10.1111/zph.12312

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@article{Kantala2017HepatitisEV, title={Hepatitis E Virus Antibodies in Finnish Veterinarians.}, author={Tuija Kantala and Paula Maria Kinnunen and Satu Oristo and Pikka Jokelainen and Olli Vapalahti and Leena Maunula}, journal={Zoonoses and public health}, year={2017}, volume={64 3}, pages={232-238} }