Hepatitis E: latest developments in knowledge.Future Microbiol. 2016 06; 11:789-808.FM
Hepatitis E, caused by Hepatitis E virus (HEV), is a highly prevalent disease in developing countries. In developed nations, autochthonous HEV infections seem to be an emergent disease. Its clinical manifestations and epidemiology are well known for endemic countries. It has been confirmed that hepatitis E is a zoonosis and that parenteral transmission can also occur. The molecular mechanisms of HEV replication are not fully understood, mostly because there are no efficient cell culture systems. HEV can cause chronic hepatitis in organ transplant recipients and immunocompetent patients. Cases with fulminant hepatitis and other extrahepatic manifestations have also been reported. The diagnosis is based on serological studies and detection of HEV RNA in blood and feces. Treatment with ribavirin and/or pegylated-IFN-α have proven to be successful in some cases. The recently approved/marketed vaccine is a good option in order to prevent this infection.