Hepatitis E virus infection

Clin Microbiol Rev. 2014 Jan;27(1):116-38. doi: 10.1128/CMR.00057-13.


Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection is a worldwide disease. An improved understanding of the natural history of HEV infection has been achieved within the last decade. Several reservoirs and transmission modes have been identified. Hepatitis E is an underdiagnosed disease, in part due to the use of serological assays with low sensitivity. However, diagnostic tools, including nucleic acid-based tests, have been improved. The epidemiology and clinical features of hepatitis E differ between developing and developed countries. HEV infection is usually an acute self-limiting disease, but in developed countries it causes chronic infection with rapidly progressive cirrhosis in organ transplant recipients, patients with hematological malignancy requiring chemotherapy, and individuals with HIV. HEV also causes extrahepatic manifestations, including a number of neurological syndromes and renal injury. Acute infection usually requires no treatment, but chronic infection should be treated by reducing immunosuppression in transplant patients and/or the use of antiviral therapy. In this comprehensive review, we summarize the current knowledge about the virus itself, as well as the epidemiology, diagnostics, natural history, and management of HEV infection in developing and developed countries.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Disease
  • Developed Countries / statistics & numerical data
  • Developing Countries / statistics & numerical data
  • Disease Reservoirs / virology
  • Hepatitis E virus / physiology
  • Hepatitis E* / diagnosis
  • Hepatitis E* / drug therapy
  • Hepatitis E* / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis E* / microbiology
  • Hepatitis E* / transmission
  • Humans