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Hepatitis E virus (HEV) RNA has been recently discovered in semen samples of Chinese infertile man with a remarkably high rate of 28.1% (52/185, table 1).1 All HEV isolates belong to HEV genotype 4 (HEV4), which is the dominant strain prevalent in China. This intriguing discovery has aroused our attention. In a recent response to the work done by Huang et al, researchers in Germany tested 87 semen samples collected from infertile men, but the HEV RNA positive rate is 0% (table 1).2 Germany is prevalent with HEV3, so the authors suggested that HEV genotype-specific or variant-specific pathophysiology may explain the contrary results. However, the two studies both have limitations to reach a more accurate conclusion. The size of patients included in both studies is relatively small, and …
LW, ZZ and JS contributed equally.
Contributors Concept of the study: LinW, LingW and HJ. Collection and experiment of clinical samples: LinW, ZZ, JS, HZ, YY, ZL and QH. Interpretation of data: LinW and ZZ. Drafting of manuscript: LinW, LingW, ZZ, WH, HZ, YW and HJ.
Funding This study was funded by the National Science Foundation of China (grant no. 81772175).
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval The study has been reviewed and approved by the Ethical Committee of Peking University Third Hospital.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
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