To study the presence of hepatitis E viremia in neonates with congenital infections.
We included 29 neonates with clinical signs and symptoms suggesting congenital infections, along with their mothers. The control group comprised 29 healthy neonates and their mothers. Laboratory evaluations were performed for each sample for liver function profiles and virological studies for hepatitis viruses B, C, and E.
The most common viral markers in mothers were for hepatitis C immunoglobulin G (IgG) (41%), followed by hepatitis B surface antigen (34%) and hepatitis E virus (HEV) IgG (31%). The most common presentations in neonates were respiratory distress syndrome, followed by preterm birth and signs of sepsis (both 41%) and hepatosplenomegaly (13%).
This study highlights the occurrence of HEV infection among other etiological conditions causing congenital infections. Vertical transmission from mothers was common in our patients. Although HEV ran a milder course, more studies are needed.