Hepatitis E virus (HEV) was for many years thought to be found almost exclusively in developing countries, where it is a major health issue. Recent studies have shown that HEV causes acute and chronic infection in developed countries. In these geographical settings, HEV is primarily a porcine zoonosis caused by genotypes 3 (HEV3) and 4 (HEV4). The clinical phenotype of hepatitis E continues to emerge, and recent data show that HEV is associated with a range of neurological syndromes including Guillain-Barré syndrome and neuralgic amytrophy.
Keywords: chronic infection; cirrhosis; hepatitis; hepatitis E; pigs; zoonosis.