Hepatitis E Virus

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University of Oklahoma Study Abroad Microbiology in Arezzo, Italy[1]



NCBI: [2] Genome: [3]

genus: Hepevirus


Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a non-enveloped, positive-sense, single-stranded ribonucleic acid (RNA) virus.[1] It is also the only virus within the genus Hepevirus and the family Hepeviridae.[2] HEV is one of the five identified hepatitis viruses (A,B,C,D, E) . Hepatitis E is most similar to hepatitis A, in that they are both transmitted through contaminated food or water. The other types of hepatitis(B,C,D) are transmitted through infected blood, sexual contact and from mother to child. HEV is the causative agent of the infectious disease Hepatitis E. HEV is unique in that it displays different clinical and epidemiologic characteristics depending on where the infection is acquired which is mainly due to the four viral genotypes of HEV that have been identified.[3] Every year there are 20 million hepatitis E infections, with over 3 million symptomatic cases of hepatitis E, and 56 600 hepatitis E-related deaths.[4]



HEV has been found in all regions but has been more prevalently identified in certain parts of the world. The main factor identified in the transmission of HEV is through fecally contaminated water. Hence, HEV outbreaks are common in developing countries that lack water supply and environmental sanitation. Although uncommon, cases of hepatitis E caused by HEV have been found in developed countries such as the United States ,usually by individuals who have traveled to areas where HEV is commonly an issue.[3]

Infectious dose, incubation, and colonization

virulence factor

Clinical features




Host immune response


1."Hepatitis E." WHO. Web. 25 July 2015. < http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs280/en/>
2. Purcell, R.H. and Emerson, S.U. Hepatitis E: an emerging awareness of an old disease. J Hepatol. 2008; 48: 494–503
3."Hepatitis E FAQs for Health Professionals." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31 May 2015. Web. 25 July 2015. <http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/hev/hevfaq.htm>.
4..Rein DB, Stevens GA, Theaker J, Wittenborn JS, Wiersma ST. The Global Burden of Hepatitis E Virus Genotypes 1 and 2 in 2005. Hepatology, Vol. 55, No. 4, 2012: 988-997