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TEM micrograph of hepatitis E virions
Virus classification Edit this classification
(unranked): Virus
Realm: Riboviria
Kingdom: Orthornavirae
Phylum: Kitrinoviricota
Class: Alsuviricetes
Order: Hepelivirales
Family: Hepeviridae

Hepeviridae is a family of viruses.[1] Human, pig, wild boar, sheep, cow, camel, monkey, some rodents, bats and chickens serve as natural hosts. There are two genera in the family. Diseases associated with this family include: hepatitis; high mortality rate during pregnancy; and avian hepatitis E virus is the cause of hepatitis-splenomegaly (HS) syndrome among chickens.[1][2]


The following genera are assigned to the family:[1]

A third genus has been proposed — Insecthepevirus.[3] This proposed genus contains one species — Sogatella furcifera hepe-like virus.

A species — Crustacea hepe-like virus 1, has been isolated from a prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii).[4]


Viruses in the family Hepeviridae are non-enveloped, with icosahedral and spherical geometries, and T=1 symmetry. The diameter is around 32-34 nm. Genomes are linear and non-segmented, around 7.2kb in length. The genome has three open reading frames.[1][2]

Genus Structure Symmetry Capsid Genomic arrangement Genomic segmentation
Orthohepevirus icosahedral, spherical T=1 Non-enveloped Linear Monopartite
Piscihepevirus icosahedral, spherical T=1 Non-enveloped Linear Monopartite


This has been studied by examining the ORF1 and the capsid proteins.[5] The ORF1 protein appears to be related to members of the Alphatetraviridae - a member of the "Alpha-like" super-group of viruses - while the capsid protein is related to that of the chicken astrovirus capsid - a member of the "Picorna-like" supergroup. This suggests that a recombination event at some point in the past between at least two distinct viruses gave rise to the ancestor of this family. This recombination event occurred at the junction of the structural and non structural proteins.[citation needed]

Life cycle[edit]

Entry into the host cell is achieved by attachment of the virus to host receptors, which mediates clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Replication follows the positive stranded RNA virus replication model. Positive stranded rna virus transcription is the method of transcription. Translation takes place by leaky scanning. Human, pig, wild boar, monkey, cow, sheep, camel some rodents, bat and chicken serve as the natural host. Transmission routes are zoonosis and fomite.[1][2]

Genus Host details Tissue tropism Entry details Release details Replication site Assembly site Transmission
Orthohepevirus Human, pig, wild boar, monkey, some rodents, chicken Attachment Intestine, hepatocytes Cytoplasm Cytoplasm zoonosis, fomite
Piscihepevirus cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii) Attachment Intestine, hepatocytes Cytoplasm Cytoplasm orofaecal


  1. ^ a b c d e "ICTV Online (10th) Report Hepeviridae".
  2. ^ a b c "Viral Zone". ExPASy. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  3. ^ Wu, Nan; Zhang, Peipei; Liu, Wenwen; Wang, Xifeng (2018). "Sogatella furcifera hepe-like virus: First member of a novel Hepeviridae clade identified in an insect". Virus Research. 250: 81–86. doi:10.1016/j.virusres.2018.03.018. PMID 29605729.
  4. ^ Dong X, Hu T, Liu Q, Li C, Sun Y, Wang Y, Shi W, Zhao Q, Huang J (2020). "A novel Hepe-Like virus from farmed giant freshwater prawn Macrobrachium rosenbergii". Viruses. 12 (3): 323. doi:10.3390/v12030323. PMC 7150978. PMID 32192159.
  5. ^ Kelly, Andrew G; Netzler, Natalie E; White, Peter A (2016). "Ancient recombination events and the origins of hepatitis E virus". BMC Evolutionary Biology. 16 (1): 210. Bibcode:2016BMCEE..16..210K. doi:10.1186/s12862-016-0785-y. PMC 5062859. PMID 27733122.

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