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Hepatitis A Virus (HAV)

Genome: RNA Virus, Positive ssRNA Virus Structure: Nonenveloped Virus
  • Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) is transmitted via a fecal-oral route
Clinical Consequences
  • The immune response to HAV is strong and thus results transient pathology and symptoms associated with an acute viral hepatitis Syndrome. Younger children tend to have a milder course whereas in some adults hepatic inflammation can be quite severe. This strong immune response will always be capable of clearing the virus and so Hepatitis A will never cause a Chronic Viral Hepatitis Syndrome.
  • Supportive Therapy
  • Antibodies to the virus are protective. During the initial infection IgM is synthesized, indicating a first exposure. Later, the isotype is switched to IgG, indicating a previous exposure.
  • Vaccine is available and provides good immunity. Preformed immunoglobulin can also be injected for those who require rapid but transient immunity, typically short-notice travelers to foreign countries.