Hepatitis E virus (HEV)

Hepatitis E virus (HEV) was discovered during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, after an outbreak of
unexplained hepatitis at a military camp. A pooled faecal extract from aff ected soldiers was ingested by a member of
the research team. He became sick, and the new virus (named HEV), was detected in his stool by electron microscopy.
Subsequently, endemic HEV has been identifi ed in many resource-poor countries. Globally, HEV is the most common
cause of acute viral hepatitis. The virus was not initially thought to occur in developed countries, but recent reports
have shown this notion to be mistaken. The aim of this Seminar is to describe recent discoveries regarding HEV, and
how they have changed our understanding of its eff ect on human health worldwide.

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