Enterically Transmitted Hepatitis: Hepatitis A and E

Nancy Piper Jenks*, Eli Schwartz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Enteric infections are the most common health problems for travelers. Hepatitis A (HAV) and hepatitis E (HEV) are enterically transmitted viruses endemic in the developing world and are the dominant causes of hepatitis among returning travelers. Although the viruses are distinctly different agents, they have similar clinical pictures. Recent changes in epidemiologic patterns demonstrate that older individuals, who frequently travel, lack natural immunity to HAV. Because disease can be severe in this age group, those who have not been vaccinated risk significant morbidity and increased mortality. HEV is a major cause of epidemic hepatitis worldwide. The disease occurs most often in young adults and can cause fulminant hepatitis, particularly in pregnant women. Although HEV is widely distributed in endemic countries, the incidence in travelers appears to be very low. There have been autochthonous cases reported in industrialized countries, probably due to zoonotic spread. With a greater uptake of HAV vaccine among travelers, more attention may now be focused on HEV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTropical Diseases in Travelers
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9781405184410
StatePublished - 15 Jan 2010


  • Enteric infections
  • Fulminant hepatitis
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hepatitis E
  • Hepatitis E vaccine
  • Zoonosis


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