Advances in Acute Severe Hepatitis of Unknown Etiology in Children

Announcing a new article publication for Zoonoses journal. Since the International Health Regulations National Focal Point for the United Kingdom alerted the WHO of ten cases of acute severe hepatitis of unknown etiology in children on April 5, 2022, relevant cases have been reported worldwide. These patients had acute hepatitis (negative for hepatitis viruses A–E) and elevated aminotransferase (AST) or alanine aminase (ALT) exceeding 500 U/L. Furthermore, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and/or adenovirus type F41 have been detected in some cases. This unknown hepatitis has been hypothesized to be induced by a viral reservoir of novel coronavirus superantigen, which repeatedly stimulates the intestines and leads to a multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), which causes immune abnormalities in the presence of human adenovirus. Although this hypothesis has not been confirmed by any in vivo experimental or clinical studies, it may provide ideas for possible intervention strategies.

Article reference: Xuefeng Zhou and Hongzhou Lu. Advances in Acute Severe Hepatitis of Unknown Etiology in Children. Zoonoses. Vol. 2(1). DOI: 10.15212/ZOONOSES-2022-0023

Keywords: unknown hepatitis, adenovirus, SARS-CoV-2, co-infection, MIS-C

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