Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, USA; Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, Iowa City, IA, USA; University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, SW54, GH, 200 Hawkins Drive, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA; Medicine and Research Services, Iowa City Veterans Administration Health Care Center, Iowa City, IA, USA. Electronic address: [Email]
Many microbes, toxins, autoimmune diseases, and neoplastic diseases may cause liver inflammation; however, 5 viruses whose main pathogenesis is liver disease are referred to as hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E viruses. These viruses cause a significant burden of global illness. With the exception of hepatitis A virus, all may cause chronic infection potentially leading to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Excellent serologic and nucleic acid detection methods are available for determining the precise cause and, in some cases, the duration of infection. Diagnostics are critical for identifying individuals needing treatment and for monitoring the treatment success.