Serological evidence of Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection among ruminant farmworkers: A retrospective study from Malaysia

Wong, Li Ping and Tay, Sun Tee and Chua, Kek Heng and Goh, Xiang Ting and Alias, Haridah and Zheng, Zizheng and Zhao, Qinjian and Wu, Ting and Xia, Ningshao and Hu, Zhijian and Lin, Yulan (2022) Serological evidence of Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection among ruminant farmworkers: A retrospective study from Malaysia. Infection and Drug Resistance, 15. pp. 5533-5541. ISSN 1178-6973, DOI

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As scant data are available about Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection in Malaysia, this study aimed to determine the seroprevalence of HEV amongst ruminant farmworkers in Malaysia. Methods: A total of 87 farmworkers provided serum samples, which were collected from eight farms. All serum samples were tested for anti-HEV IgG and anti-HEV IgM by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using the Wantai HEV-IgG and HEV-IgMResults: Farmworkers from six cattle farms, one sheep farm and one goat farm were investigated in this study. Only one farm practices zero-grazing, with the rest using rotational grazing. Of the 87 farmworkers, males comprised 83.9%, and almost half (47.1%) were aged 20-35 years old. By ethnic group, the vast majority were Malay. Most of the farmworkers have good hygiene practices; washing or changing their clothes and showering after dealing with farm animals were common. None of the farmworker serum samples had anti-HEV IgM and IgG detected (95% confidence interval (CI): 0, 0.0415).Conclusion: The finding suggests that the farmworkers had no previous exposure to Hepatitis E, and were not at risk of occupational exposure to HEV infection. Our findings suggest that a zero seroprevalence of HEV infection among ruminant farmworkers in the Muslim majority country. Good farm management, hygiene practices and the absence of contact with swine-related contamination might have contributed to the no or minimal zoonotic risks of HEV amongst farmworkers surveyed in this study.

Item Type: Article
Funders: Newton -Medical Research Council [IF077-2019], National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) [81871247]
Uncontrolled Keywords: HEV; Farmworkers; Seroprevalence; Antibody
Subjects: R Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2023 02:58
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2023 02:58

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