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Hepatitis E virus infection

Renuka Umashanker, MD
Sanjiv Chopra, MD, MACP
Section Editor
Adrian M Di Bisceglie, MD
Deputy Editor
Shilpa Grover, MD, MPH


Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is an enterically-transmitted acute viral hepatitis. Infection with this virus was first documented in 1955 during an outbreak in New Delhi, India [1].


Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is an icosahedral, nonenveloped single stranded RNA virus that is approximately 27 to 34 nm in diameter [2-6]. It has been classified as the single member of the genus hepevirus in the family Hepeviridae [7]. Three large opening reading frames (ORFs) of the positive-sense RNA of HEV have been described [8]:

The largest ORF consists of 1693 codons; it codes for nonstructural proteins that are responsible for the processing and replication of the virus.

The second ORF is composed of 660 codons and codes for structural proteins.

The third ORF consists of 123 codons; although it may encode for a structural protein, its function remains undetermined.


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Literature review current through: Sep 2016. | This topic last updated: May 23, 2016.
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