1887

Abstract

The incidence and severity of hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection in pregnant women is high in developing countries. Transplacental transmission of HEV in the third trimester of pregnancy has been found to be associated with high fetal mortality. Based on this evidence and in the absence of reports on HEV replication in extrahepatic sites, this study was carried out to investigate if HEV replication occurs in the placenta of infected mothers. The study included 68 acute viral hepatitis (AVH) and 22 acute liver failure (ALF) pregnant patients. Viral RNA was extracted from blood and placenta. HEV replication in placenta was confirmed by a replicative negative-strand-specific reverse transcriptase PCR. Viral load was estimated by real-time PCR. Immunohistochemical studies were also carried out for detection of HEV in placental tissue sections. Replicative HEV RNA was detectable only in the placenta in ALF and AVH cases and not in blood samples. Positive staining of placental tissue sections with HEV antibody against the viral structural protein ORF3 was observed. HEV replication in placenta also correlated with fetal and maternal mortality in ALF patients. It is demonstrated for the first time that HEV replication occurs in human placenta and that placenta may be a site of extrahepatic replication of HEV in humans.

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2014-06-01
2019-11-15
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