Results should be interpreted in conjunction with clinical findings. Hepatitis E virues (HEV) causes an acute, usually self-limited infection. This small, nonenveloped virus is spread by the fecal-oral route. HEV is endemic in SE and Central Asia, with several outbreaks observed in the Middle East, northern and western parts of Africa, and Mexico. In developed countries, HEV infection occurs mainly in persons who have traveled to disease-endemic areas.
Positive results indicate the presence of an acute HEV infection in the preceding 6 months. Negative (Not detected) results do not necessarily exclude the presence of acute or recent HEV infection. Repeat testing in 1 to 2 months or testing for anti-HEV IgG may be necessary for diagnosis.