Viral Hepatitis

  • Harold S. Margolis
  • Miriam J. Alter
  • Stephen C. Hadler

Abstract

Viral hepatitis represents a disease entity caused by at least five unrelated viruses whose primary tissue tropism is the hepatocyte. Hepatitis A is an acute self-limited disease resulting from infection with hepatitis A virus (HAV). Infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) can produce a chronic infection that places the individual at risk of death from chronic liver disease or primary hepatocellular carcinoma. Delta hepatitis is caused by hepatitis delta virus (HDV), an “incomplete” virus and the only viroid known to infect man. It requires an active HBV infection to replicate. The recent identification of two new hepatitis viruses has almost completely characterized the disease entity previously designated non-A, non-B hepatitis, which was defined by the serological exclusion of known causes of viral hepatitis and their epidemiologic characteristics. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is responsible for the majority of cases of parenterally transmitted non-A, non-B hepatitis and produces a persistent infection that is often associated with chronic liver disease. Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is the cause of almost all cases of enterically transmitted non-A, non-B hepatitis and is not known to produce a persistent infection. However, the serological exclusion of the known hepatitis viruses continues to leave cases of hepatitis that clinically appear to be viral in origin. The majority of these cases of “non-ABCDE” hepatitis appear to be parenterally transmitted, although outbreaks of enterically transmitted disease have been reported.

Keywords

Hepatitis Delta Virus Acute Viral Infection NANB Hepatitis Delta Antigen Chronic Hepatitis Delta Virus Infection 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harold S. Margolis
    • 1
  • Miriam J. Alter
    • 1
  • Stephen C. Hadler
    • 2
  1. 1.Hepatitis Branch, Division of Viral and Rickettsial DiseasesNational Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Epidemiology and Surveillance Division, National Immunization ProgramCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA

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