Dr Arvind Kumar and his team from India looked at the frequency of co-infection with multiple hepatotropic viruses in children.
The investigators assessed a total of 149 children in the study, 122 with acute sporadic viral hepatitis and 27 with fulminant hepatic failure.
The investigation team prospectively evaluated consecutive children up to 15 years of age between 1998 and 2002 prospectively.
The team assessed several viral markers in all children.
Immunoglobulin M anti-Hepatitis A virus, immunoglobulin anti-hepatitis E virus, and Hepatitis B surface antigen were markers measured.
In addition, the team measured immunoglobulin anti-Hepatitis B core, and anti-Hepatitis C virus.
|Hepatitis E virus positivity is a strong marker for multiple infections|
|Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
The investigators detected co-infection with multiple viruses in 25% of acute sporadic viral Hepatitis patients.
The team found co-infection in 26% of fulminant hepatic failure patients.
The majority of single infections were due to Hepatitis A virus followed by Hepatitis E virus.
Hepatitis E virus infection was associated with infection with another agent in 88% of patients with acute sporadic viral Hepatitis.
The team observed that frequency of anicteric state, prolonged cholestasis, relapsing hepatitis were similar in the single and multiple infection groups.
Ascites, hemolysis and mortality rates were also similar in the single and multiple infection groups.
Dr Kumar's team concludes, “Co-infection with multiple viruses is observed in a quarter of patients with sporadic acute sporadic viral Hepatitis in childhood.”
“Such infection does not produce a more severe disease.”
“Hepatitis E virus positivity is a strong marker for multiple infections.”