Hepatitis E virus RNA in Australian blood donations

Shrestha, Ashish C., Flower, Robert L. P., Seed, Clive R., Keller, Anthony J., Harley, Robert, Chan, Hiu-Tat, Hoad, Veronica, Warrilow, David, Northill, Judith, Holmberg, Jerry A. and Faddy, Helen M. (2016) Hepatitis E virus RNA in Australian blood donations. Transfusion, 56 12: 3086-3093. doi:10.1111/trf.13799

Author Shrestha, Ashish C.
Flower, Robert L. P.
Seed, Clive R.
Keller, Anthony J.
Harley, Robert
Chan, Hiu-Tat
Hoad, Veronica
Warrilow, David
Northill, Judith
Holmberg, Jerry A.
Faddy, Helen M.
Title Hepatitis E virus RNA in Australian blood donations
Journal name Transfusion   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1537-2995
Publication date 2016-12-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/trf.13799
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 56
Issue 12
Start page 3086
End page 3093
Total pages 8
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background: Hepatitis E virus (HEV) poses a risk to transfusion safety. In Australia, locally acquired HEV is rare and cases are mainly reported in travelers returning from countries endemic for HEV. The risk posed by HEV to transfusion safety in Australia is unknown; therefore, we aimed to measure the rate of current HEV infection in Australian blood donations.

Study Design and Methods: A total of 14,799 blood donations were tested for HEV RNA by transcription-mediated amplification, with confirmatory testing by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction. Viral load quantification and phylogenetic analysis was performed on HEV RNA–positive samples.

Results: One (0.0068%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.0002%-0.0376%) sample was confirmed positive for HEV RNA, resulting in a risk of collecting a HEV-viremic donation of 1 in 14,799 (95% CI, 1 in 584,530 to 1 in 2,657). The viral load in this sample was approximately 15,000 IU/mL, and it was determined to be Genotype 3.

Discussion: Our finding of 1 in 14,799 Australian donations positive for HEV RNA is lower than that from many other developed countries; this is consistent with the relatively low seroprevalence in Australia. As this HEV RNA–positive sample was Genotype 3, it seems likely that this infection was acquired through zoonotic transmission, either within Australia or overseas in a developed nation. HEV has the potential to pose a risk to transfusion safety in Australia; however, additional, larger studies are required to quantify the magnitude of this risk.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
Admin Only - School of Medicine
School of Medicine Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 6 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 8 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Tue, 27 Dec 2016, 10:47:25 EST by System User on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)