Seroprevalence of hepatitis E virus in Roma settlements: a comparison with the general population in Slovakia

Autori1Janičko  M., 1Halánová M., 1Veseliny .E, 1Kalinová Z., 1Jarčuška P., 1Urbančíková I., 1Pella D., 2Dražilová S., 1Babinská I. and HepaMeta Team

Pracovisko: 1  I. interná klinika LF UPJŠ a UNLP, Košice
2 Hospital Poprad


Hepatitis E infection is one of the most frequent causes of acute hepatitis in the world. Currently five human genotypes with different geographical distributions and distinct epidemiologic patterns are identified. In Slovakia, only rare cases of hepatitis E have been reported in past years. Because the most important risk factors associated with HEV infection include consumption of

contaminated pork meat and poor hygienic standards, the aim of the study was to evaluate the prevalence of anti-HEV total antibodies and the main risk factors for HEV in the population living in separated and segregated Roma settlements (n = 195), which represent places with increased risk of infection in Slovakia and to compare it with the prevalence in the general population (n = 69). Of 264 respondents included in the study, 47 (17.8%) showed positivity for anti-HEV antibodies, 42 of whom were Roma (21.5%, n = 195) and 5 (7.2%, n = 69) non-Roma. The population living in Roma settlements lives in poorer conditions and are at higher risk of HEV in comparison to the general population. However, differences in living conditions within the settlements do not contributed to lower risk of HEV antibody prevalence between Roma living in settlements.