Review article: Fetal and neonatal health consequences of vertically transmitted hepatitis E virus infection

Lisa J. Krain, Jessica E. Atwell, Kenrad E. Nelson, Alain B. Labrique

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infections lead to tens of thousands of deaths annually, mostly in developing countries. Hepatitis E poses a significant threat to the health of expectant mothers, a well-noted epidemiologic feature of the disease, but the contribution of vertically transmitted HEV infection to fetal and neonatal morbidity and mortality has received limited attention. Evidence assembled to date suggests that mother-to-child HEV transmission may be frequent and deleterious to the fetus and newborn in pregnancies affected by hepatitis E. Additional work is required to resolve key questions. (1) What risks do subclinical maternal HEV infections and infections early in pregnancy pose to fetal health and development? (2) Does vertical transmission occur during labor and/or breastfeeding and contribute appreciably to neonatal morbidity and mortality? (3) How do treatment decisions for severely ill mothers affect fetal and neonatal outcomes? (4) Can maternal vaccination effectively prevent vertical transmission of HEV?

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)365-370
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume90
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases

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