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Hepatitis is an infection of the liver and can be caused by many pathogens. Primary among these pathogens are the hepatitis viruses. Other than the fact that they all infect and damage the liver, these viruses share few common traits and come from diverse virus families: picornaviruses, hepadnaviruses, flaviviruses and caliciviruses. Hepatitis A and E are enteroviruses and cause generally mild, self-resolving infections. Hepatitis B and C are serious infections transmitted by direct contact (body fluids) and may cause liver cancer and chronic liver disease. Hepatitis D only occurs as a coinfection with HBV and complicates HBV infection. Hepatitis G is a milder form of Hepatitis C. Other viruses, including adenovirus, can also cause hepatitis.


Cause: Hepatitis A virus (picornavirus)
Cause: Hepatitis B virus (hepadnavirus)
Cause: Hepatitis C and G viruses (flavivirus)
Cause: Hepatitis D virus (delta agent)
Cause: Hepatitis E virus (calicivirus)