What is the risk of transfusion-transmitted HAV and HEV infection?

Updated: Jan 15, 2017
  • Author: Mudassar Zia, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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The hepatitis A virus (HAV) is a single-stranded RNA enterovirus and a member of the Picornaviridae family. In humans, viral replication depends on hepatocyte uptake and synthesis, and assembly occurs exclusively in liver cells. The common method of HAV transmission is via the feco-oral route, but the infection may also rarely be transmitted through blood transfusion. [30, 31]

The hepatitis E virus (HEV) is classified in the Caliciviridae family and has many similarities with HAV. The common mode of transmission is also feco-oral, but HEV may also be transfusion transmitted. [32, 33]

Both of these nonenveloped viruses are not inactivated by the methods used in the production of blood components subjected to plasma fractionation and processed by solvent and detergent methods alone. [30, 31, 32, 33]

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