Acute hepatitis E virus in pregnant women in Israel and in other industrialized countries

Tamar Lachish, Ortal Erez, Nili Daudi, Daniel Shouval, Eli Schwartz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and objectives: Acute hepatitis E virus (HEV) is the most common etiology of viral hepatitis in adults in developing countries. HEV is rare in industrialized countries but its incidence is rising both in returning travelers and through autochthonous infection. In developing countries HEV is associated with a high rate of fulminant hepatitis and mortality during pregnancy and contributes to poor obstetric and fetal outcomes. There are no reliable data on the outcome of HEV during pregnancy in industrialized countries. Study design: A retrospective analysis of acute HEV cases diagnosed in Israel were examined. The clinical course of the disease among pregnant women was retrieved. A systematic review of the literature was performed for cases of HEV and pregnancy, originating or treated in industrialized countries. Results: Between the years 1993-2013, 68 cases of acute HEV were diagnosed in Israel, including 9 pregnant women (13%). An additional 6 reported cases were found from a literature search. From the 15 women (10 autochthonous cases and 5 imported cases), the outcome was favorable in 10 cases, however, 5 cases (33%) resulted in fulminant hepatitis and two women underwent an urgent liver transplantation. No fatality occurred in the mothers and all babies were born alive and healthy. Discussion: This is the first case series of acute HEV infection in pregnant women in industrialized countries. Acute HEV infection poses a significant risk in pregnancy, irrespective of patients' country of origin. In contrast to reports from developing countries, all babies and mothers survived.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-24
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Virology
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • Fetal outcome
  • Fulminant hepatitis
  • HEV
  • Pregnancy


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