To study the dynamics of anti-HEV ORF2, ORF3, IgM and IgG in serial sera of patients with hepatitis E.
Anti-HEV was detected in serial sera of 52 patients, by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (EIA) based on two synthetic peptides separated or combined from open reading frame (ORF) 2 and 3 of HEV genome.
Both anti-ORF2 and anti-ORF3 in serum were at the highest levels in early acute phase of the disease, and declined gradually with the course, especially anti-ORF3. The sensitivity of the EIA using both ORF2 and ORF3 peptides was higher than that of either alone. The positive rates of anti-HEV IgM and anti-HEV IgG were separately 71.1% (32/45) and 97.8% (44/45) within 15 days after onset, then decreased more dramatically in IgM than in IgG with the course.
Both ORF2 and ORF3 proteins should be used for the development of anti-HEV EIA kit. It seems to be more specific in anti-HEV IgM and more sensitive in anti-HEV IgG as a diagnostic marker of hepatitis E.