Hepatitis E virus and blood products

Harry R. Dalton


Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is currently a ‘hot topic’ in the blood transfusion community. Recently, the European Association for the Study of the Liver recommended that blood donors should be considered for screening for HEV. Several high-income countries have introduced, or are considering, screening of donors for HEV, following the recognition of the high frequency of documented viraemic donors, together with adverse outcomes in some recipients. A recently published study showed that 1:808 blood donations in Shanghai contained HEV RNA. This raises the issue of whether screening of blood donors for HEV should also be considered in China.