Hepatitis A Virus and Hepatitis E Virus: Different Viruses With Similar Stories

  • Author: Kenneth E. Sherman, MD, PhD (More Info)
  • Editor In Chief: Stefan Zeuzem, MD
  • Last Reviewed: 5/17/18 (What's New)



  • Both HAV and HEV are highly prevalent viruses that primarily replicate in the liver and cause acute hepatic injury
    • Both viruses appear to be important cofactors in the morbidity and mortality associated with other chronic liver diseases
  • Although members of different virus families, similarities in epidemiology, modes of transmission, and clinical presentation make it helpful to consider them together
  • Hepatitis E, in particular, is underrecognized as a pathogen, and detection and prevention are constrained by limited awareness by clinicians


  • HAV and HEV are both small RNA, nonenveloped viruses with predominantly fecal-oral transmission (Table)