Anti-Hepatitis E Virus (HEV) ELISAs
Two new Anti-Hepatitis E Virus (HEV) ELISAs provide reliable detection of HEVspecific antibodies of class IgG and IgM. The IgG ELISA is, moreover, the only commercial HEV ELISA to provide quantification in international units (IU/ml). The assay is calibrated according to the WHO reference serum and shows first-rate linearity with respect to this standard. The ELISA microplates are coated with highly purified recombinant HEV structural proteins, which ensure high sensitivity and specificity in antibody detection. The Anti-HEV ELISAs are ideal for differential diagnosis, for epidemiological studies and, in combination with PCR, for blood donor screening. The tests are easy to perform and can be fully automated on microplate processing systems such as the company’s Analyzer series. Infections with HEV are the most frequent cause on non-A, non-B hepatitis worldwide. They are generally acquired fecal-orally via contaminated drinking water or food (e.g. insufficiently cooked pork). HEV is endemic primarily in countries with low standards of hygiene, but is also increasingly observed in industrialized nations. HEV infections generally take a mild course, but in rare cases they can lead to acute liver failure. Prognosis is particularly poor in pregnant women, and in this group the mortality rate reaches up to 20%. Since an HEV infection resembles hepatitis A and other hepatides in the preliminary stages, differential diagnostic tests as part of the clinical and laboratory investigation are essential. Alongside PCR analysis of viral RNA in blood or stool, the serological detection of HEV-specific IgM and IgG antibodies plays a decisive role in acute HEV diagnostics.