[Zoonotic potential of the hepatitis E virus].Klin Mikrobiol Infekc Lek. 2010 Feb; 16(1):18-21.KM
The hepatitis E virus (HEV), the causative agent of hepatitis E, is a non-enveloped RNA virus. The HEV genome is formed by a nonsegmented positive-sense RNA chain with a 3'-terminal polyadenylated tail and a 5'-terminal cap. According to the currently accepted taxonomy, HEV is classified in the genus Hepevirus, the sole member of the family Hepeviridae. Hepatitis E is usually transmitted by the faecal-oral route due to poor sanitation and contamination of drinking water or water for industrial purposes. This has been reported in developing countries of Asia, Africa, South and Central America. In countries with sporadic hepatitis E, the reported cases have been associated with travelling to the above countries. Recently, zoonotic and foodborne transmission of HEV has been widely discussed.