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Hepatitis A virus

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(virology) The virus belonging to family Picornaviridae, and may cause hepatitis A


Hepatitis is a condition characterized by liver inflammation. There are several factors that could lead to hepatitis but one of the major causes is due to infection of certain viruses. There are five major viruses causing hepatitis. They are referred to as hepatitis A virus (causing hepatitis A), hepatitis B virus (causing hepatitis B), hepatitis C virus (causing hepatitis C), hepatitis D virus (causing hepatitis D), and hepatitis E virus (causing hepatitis E).

Hepatitis A virus is a picornavirus and belongs to the family Picornaviridae. It has a single-stranded RNA and a protein coat. There is one known serotype. However, multiple genotypes occur.

Hepatitis A virus is transmitted through fecal-oral route, especially from the ingestion of food or water contaminated with it. It may also be transmitted by the parenteral route; however, transmission by blood and blood products is very rare. When it reaches the liver via the bloodstream, it multiplies in the cytoplasm of hepatocytes and Kupffer cells. The incubation period is 15 to 50 days. Infection with hepatitis A virus usually presents mild symptoms. It generally clears in three to six weeks.

Abbreviation / Acronym:

  • HAV

Scientific classification:

  • Order: Picornavirales
  • Family: Picornaviridae
  • Genus: Hepatovirus
  • Species: Hepatovirus A

See also:

  • hepatitis A
  • hepatitis