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)


  • The incubation period for HAV and HEV is approximately 2-8 weeks, with average incubation period for HAV being slightly shorter than for HEV (30 vs 40 days)[Purcell 2008]
  • Following ingestion, viral particles cross the small intestine and travel via the portal circulation where they replicate in the liver. They are subsequently excreted into the biliary system and are excreted in the feces as infective particles
  • Patients with HAV or HEV infection present with primarily right upper quadrant pain, mild fever, nausea, and anorexia and frequently have mild hepatomegaly. A proportion of patients demonstrate visible jaundice. Serum transaminases increase 2-8 weeks after infection, followed closely by increased serum bilirubin
    • Pregnant Women
        Patients With Chronic Liver Disease
          Organ Transplantation Recipients and Other Immunosuppressed Persons

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