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      Hepatitis E virus in South America: The current scenario

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          Proposed reference sequences for hepatitis E virus subtypes.

          The nomenclature of hepatitis E virus (HEV) subtypes is inconsistent and makes comparison of different studies problematic. We have provided a table of proposed complete genome reference sequences for each subtype. The criteria for subtype assignment vary between different genotypes and methodologies, and so a conservative pragmatic approach has been favoured. Updates to this table will be posted on the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses website ( The use of common reference sequences will facilitate communication between researchers and help clarify the epidemiology of this important human pathogen. This subtyping procedure might be adopted for other taxa of the genus Orthohepevirus.
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            Zoonotic origin of hepatitis E.

            The concept of zoonotic viral hepatitis E has emerged a few years ago following the discovery of animal strains of hepatitis E virus (HEV), closely related to human HEV, in countries where sporadic cases of hepatitis E were autochthonous. Recent advances in the identification of animal reservoirs of HEV have confirmed that strains circulating in domestic and wild pigs are genetically related to strains identified in indigenous human cases. The demonstration of HEV contamination in the food chain or pork products has indicated that HEV is frequently a foodborne zoonotic pathogen. Direct contacts with infected animals, consumption of contaminated animal meat or meat products are all potential means of zoonotic HEV transmission. The recent identification of numerous other genetically diverse HEV strains from various animal species poses additional potential concerns for HEV zoonotic infection.
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              Hepatitis E virus: the current scenario.

              Hepatitis E infection, caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV), is a common cause of acute hepatitis in developing countries with poor sanitation and hygiene. The virus is classified into four genotypes (1-4) with one serotype. Genotypes 1 and 2 exclusively infect humans, whereas genotypes 3 and 4 also infect other animals, particularly pigs. In endemic areas, large outbreaks of acute hepatitis caused by viruses of genotype 1 or 2 frequently occur due to fecal-oral transmission, usually through contamination of drinking water. With a high attack rate in young adults (aged 15-45 years), the disease is particularly severe among pregnant women (20-30% mortality). HEV appears to be a zoonotic disease, with transmission from pigs, wild boars, and deer, or foodborne. Chronic infections are rare, except in immunosuppressed persons, such as organ transplant recipients. A subunit vaccine has been shown to be effective in preventing the clinical disease, but is not yet commercially available. Our understanding of HEV has undergone major changes in recent years and in this article we review the currently available information with regard to the molecular biology, pathobiology, and epidemiology of HEV infection. We also review the current therapeutic interventions and strategies being used to control HEV infection, with emphasis on possible approaches that could be used to develop an effective vaccine against HEV. Copyright © 2012 International Society for Infectious Diseases. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                Liver International
                Liver Int
                September 2018
                September 2018
                June 09 2018
                : 38
                : 9
                : 1536-1546
                [1 ]Instituto de Virología “Dr. J. M. Vanella”; Facultad de Ciencias Médicas; Universidad Nacional de Córdoba; Córdoba Argentina
                [2 ]Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET); Argentina
                [3 ]Departamento de Virología; LACE; Córdoba Argentina
                [4 ]Sección Virología; Facultad de Ciencias; Universidad de la República; Montevideo Uruguay
                [5 ]Department of Medicine; University of Minnesota; Minneapolis MN USA
                © 2018


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