Hepatitis E infection in HIV-infected liver and kidney transplant candidates.
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) has been reported to cause acute and chronic hepatitis in those with HIV infection and among solid organ transplant recipients in Europe. Limited data indicate that HEV is endemic in the United States, but the prevalence and significance of HEV infection among those with HIV and awaiting solid organ transplantation is unknown. We evaluated anti-HEV IgM and IgG antibodies and HEV RNA in 166 HIV-infected solid organ transplant candidates enrolled in the NIH HIV-Transplant Cohort. Overall prevalence of anti-HEV IgG approached 20% in both liver and renal transplant candidates. Evidence of recent infection was present in approximately 2% of liver transplant candidates and none of the kidney transplant candidates. HEV RNA was not detected in any patient. We conclude that markers of HEV infection are frequent among candidates for transplantation, but active, ongoing viremia is not seen. Evidence of recent infection (acute on chronic) liver disease was present in liver but not kidney recipients.