Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is one of the most frequent causes of acute viral hepatitis of enteric transmission worldwide. In South America the overall epidemiology has been little studied, and the burden of the disease remains largely unknown. A research of all scientific articles about HEV circulation in South America until November 2017 was carried out. Human seroprevalences of HEV varied according to the studied population: blood donors presented prevalence rates ranging from 1.8% to 9.8%, while reports from HIV‐infected individuals, transplant recipients and patients on hemodialysis showed higher prevalence rates. Only 2 cases of chronic hepatitis in solid‐organ transplant patients from Argentina and Brazil have been described. Detection of HEV in the swine population is widely prevalent in the region. Anti‐HEV antibodies have also been recently documented in wild boars from Uruguay. Although scarce, studies focused on environmental and food HEV detection have shown viral presence in these kind of samples, highlighting possible transmission sources of HEV in the continent. HEV genotype 3 was the most frequently detected in the region, with HEV genotype 1 detected only in Venezuela and Uruguay. HEV is widely distributed throughout South America, producing sporadic cases of acute hepatitis, but as a possible agent of chronic hepatitis. Finding the virus in humans, animals, environmental samples and food, show that it can be transmitted through many sources, alerting local governments and health systems to improve diagnosis and for the implementation of preventive measures.
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection is an important public health concern in many developing countries, causing waterborne outbreaks as well as sporadic autochthonous hepatitis. HEV is mainly transmitted by the fecal–oral route in endemic areas through drinking of contaminated water. However, zoonotic transmission from animal reservoirs to humans has also been suggested. Three additional routes of HEV transmission have been proposed to occur: blood borne, human to human, and vertical transmission from mother to child. Acute HEV infection is usually diagnosed by detecting specific anti-HEV antibodies. However, the performance of the available assays in different settings is not optimal. Analysis of HEV ribonucleic acid in biologic specimens such as stools, serum, and liver biopsy by using nucleic acid amplification techniques is also employed. Nonetheless, additional consensus regarding the best technologies suitable for serosurveys and diagnosis of acute HEV infection is also needed. This review article summarizes the current status of HEV infection end epidemiology with particular emphasis in transmission, diagnosis, and clinical management.
Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection has a prevalence of 70% in the human population. Treatment is based on acyclovir, valacyclovir, and foscarnet, three drugs that share the same mechanism of action and of which resistant strains have been isolated from patients. In this aspect, innovative drug therapies are required. Natural products offer unlimited opportunities for the discovery of antiviral compounds. In this study, 28 extracts corresponding to 24 plant species and 4 alga species were assayed in vitro to detect antiviral activity against HSV-1. Six of the methanolic extracts inactivated viral particles by direct interaction and 14 presented antiviral activity when incubated with cells already infected. Most interesting antiviral activity values obtained are those of Limonium brasiliense, Psidium guajava, and Phyllanthus niruri, which inhibit HSV-1 replication in vitro with 50% effective concentration (EC50) values of 185, 118, and 60 μg/mL, respectively. For these extracts toxicity values were calculated and therefore selectivity indexes (SI) obtained. Further characterization of the bioactive components of antiviral plants will pave the way for the discovery of new compounds against HSV-1.
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