Category Archives: Hepatitis E

Hepatitis E: Canada welcomes the world: part1

Canada welcomes the world: part1

CASE REPORTS PRESENTED IN THIS ISSUE OF THE JOURNAL represent the first documented cases of hepatitis E in Canada. Globally, the existence of enteric ally transmitted non-A, non-B hepatitis has been recognized for many years and accounts for over 50% of acute hepatitis in developing nations. Usual somatotropic viruses were not found to cause this disease and the term viral hepatitis type E (hev) was coined. Although studies in nonhuman primates failed to yield a cultivable pathogen, electron microscopy of stool samples revealed the presence of viruslike particles.

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Hepatitis E: Canada welcomes the world: part5

 Canada welcomes the world: part5

In summary, hev is a novel hepatotropic virus responsible for the majority of enterically spread non-A, non-B hepatitis in developing countries and represents a major health concern in these countries. hev plays a limited role in clinical liver disease in Canada and the United States and, except for sporadic cases, is unIikely to represent a major health threat in these counIries.

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Hepatitis E: Canada welcomes the world: part4

Although her represents a major health problem for developing nations, it is not a major clinical problem in North America. Cases such as those presented in the Journal serve to emphasize the potential for her acquisition by North American travellers. Sporadic cases of hepatitis E have been reported in developed countries, most often in persons returning from endemic areas.

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Hepatitis E: Canada welcomes the world: part3

Canada welcomes the world: part3

Testing for hepatitis E exposure and active infection has improved substantially in recent years. Polymerase chain reaction (pcr) analysis for hev genomes in serum, stool and liver tissue has supplanted evaluation of the stool by electron microscopy as the definitive test for active infection. Unfortunately, the availability of this test is limited to research facilities. Serological tests for antibodies to recombinant hev proteins are available at specialized centers and are being used to clarify the epidemiological and clinical features of hev.

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Hepatitis E: Canada welcomes the world: part2

The clinical and epidemiological features of hev have recently been reviewed. Estimates suggest that up to 2 million cases occur yearly in the Indian subcontinent. hev causes large epidemics of acute self- limited icteric hepatitis often linked to ingestion of contaminated water. More recent data suggest that hev is also a common cause of sporadic hepatitis in developing countries, especially in children. Sero-prevalence for hev antibodies can approach 25% in children from endemic areas despite less frequent icteric hepatitis.

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