Hepatitis E should be a global public health priority: recommendations for improving surveillance and prevention

Carl D. Kirkwood*, Katherine R. Dobscha, A. Duncan Steele

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is an important cause of enterically transmitted viral hepatitis and a significant contributor to maternal mortality in endemic regions around the world, yet the global response has been limited. HEV is a disease of poverty, and the populations experiencing the greatest burden of HEV-associated illness are not benefitting from existing interventions, including WASH strategies and immunization. Areas Covered: Though a vaccine exists (HEV 239, Hecolin®, Xiamen Innovax Biotech, China), it is only licensed and available in the private market in China and has yet to be prequalified by the WHO for use in endemic settings and outbreaks. This review of the current state of HEV disease and subsequent recommendations for a coordinated public health response are intended to guide the global health community towards breaking the current ‘vicious cycle,’ in which a lack of data prevents actions that would improve health outcomes. Expert opinion: Vaccine implementation in future outbreaks, targeted studies assessing vaccine effectiveness and immunogenicity in endemic regions and populations, improved understanding of the global burden, and improvements in diagnostic and epidemiologic tools are urgently needed. Strategies for implementing routine vaccination programs, improving water, sanitation, and hygiene in endemic regions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1129-1140
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Review of Vaccines
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Viral hepatitis
  • hepatitis E
  • hepatitis vaccine
  • hev


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