Epidemiology and Infection

Viral hepatitis

The incidence of hepatitis E virus infection in the general population of the USA

M. F. FARAMAWIa1 c1, E. JOHNSONa1, S. CHENa2 and P. R. PANNALAa3

a1 Epidemiology Department, School of Public Health, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX, USA

a2 Biostatistics Department, School of Public Health, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX, USA

a3 Texas Department of State Health Services, Austin, TX, USA

SUMMARY

Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection is as an emerging disease of global importance because it is one of the major causes of acute hepatitis worldwide. There are few reports on the incidence of HEV in the USA. For better assessing the burden of primary HEV infection as well as understanding the epidemiology of HEV in the US population this analysis was conducted to estimate the force of infection of HEV in the USA. HEV force of infection in the general US population was calculated using catalytic models as cumulative markers of past infection from HEV seroprevalence data from the NHANES Survey. In the US population the force of infection was seven infections per 1000 susceptible persons per year. This study shows that in the USA HEV can be acquired locally and from developing countries. HEV is circulating more frequently in the non-Hispanic White racial/ethnic group and those who consume fish more frequently.

(Accepted August 19 2010)

(Online publication September 21 2010)

Correspondence:

c1 Author for correspondence: M. F. Faramawi, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Epidemiology Department, School of Public Health, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, TX, USA. (Email: mohammed.el-faramawi@unthsc.edu)

Metrics