Publications & Reports

Dual infection with hepatitis A and E viruses in outbreaks and in sporadic clinical cases: Cuba 1998-2003.

Rodríguez Lay Lde L, Quintana A, Villalba MC, Lemos G, Corredor MB, Moreno AG, Prieto PA, Guzmán MG, Anderson D
Institute for Tropical Medicine Pedro Kouri (IPK), Havana, Cuba. [email protected]


Viral hepatitis ranks as the fifth cause of morbidity for infectious diseases in Cuba. Epidemics are observed frequently in the population, the hepatitis A virus being the main agent responsible for such epidemics. Previous reports also confirmed the circulation of the hepatitis E virus. From 1998 to 2003, 258 serum samples were collected by the Reference Laboratory on Viral Hepatitis during 33 outbreaks of acute viral hepatitis as well as from 39 sporadic clinical cases. Sera were tested for anti-HAV and anti-HEV IgM by EIA. Overall of the 33 outbreaks studied sera from 12 (36.4%) were positive for anti-HAV IgM only, from 7 (21.2%) were positive for anti-HEV IgM only, and from 14 (42.4%) were positive for antibodies to both viruses. Individually of the 258 sera collected, 137 (53.1%) were positives for anti-HAV IgM, 20 (7.8%) were positives for anti-HEV IgM, 33 (12.8%) were positives for both markers and 68 (26.4%) were negative to both. Of the clinical cases, 4 (10.3%) were positives for anti-HAV IgM, 13 (33.3%) were positives for anti-HEV IgM and 5 (12.8%) were positives for both markers. Seventeen (43.6%) sera were negatives for all viral hepatitis markers available (A-E). A high positivity for HEV was found in outbreaks tested with the kit produced by CIGB. In particular HEV seems to infect individuals of all ages. The results demonstrate the co-circulation of and co-infection with two enterically transmitted viruses; however a higher positivity was observed for anti-HAV than to anti-HEV (53.1% vs. 7.8%) in outbreaks.


  • Journal: Journal of Medical vVrology
  • Published: 01/05/2008
  • Volume: 80
  • Issue: 5
  • Pagination: 798-802