Review

Journal of Gastroenterology

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 159-168

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Antigenic determinants of hepatitis E virus and vaccine-induced immunogenicity and efficacy

  • Qinjian ZhaoAffiliated withNational Institute of Diagnostics and Vaccine Development in Infectious Diseases, School of Public Health, Xiamen University
  • , Jun ZhangAffiliated withNational Institute of Diagnostics and Vaccine Development in Infectious Diseases, School of Public Health, Xiamen University
  • , Ting WuAffiliated withNational Institute of Diagnostics and Vaccine Development in Infectious Diseases, School of Public Health, Xiamen University
  • , Shao-Wei LiAffiliated withNational Institute of Diagnostics and Vaccine Development in Infectious Diseases, School of Public Health, Xiamen University
  • , Mun-Hon NgAffiliated withNational Institute of Diagnostics and Vaccine Development in Infectious Diseases, School of Public Health, Xiamen University
  • , Ning-Shao XiaAffiliated withNational Institute of Diagnostics and Vaccine Development in Infectious Diseases, School of Public Health, Xiamen University Email author 
  • , James Wai-Kuo ShihAffiliated withNational Institute of Diagnostics and Vaccine Development in Infectious Diseases, School of Public Health, Xiamen University Email author 

Abstract

There is emerging evidence for an under-recognized hepatitis E virus (HEV) as a human pathogen. Among different reasons for this neglect are the unsatisfactory performance and under-utilization of commercial HEV diagnostic kits; for instance, the number of anti-HEV IgM kits marketed in China is about one-fifth of that of hepatitis A kits. Over the last two decades, substantial progress has been achieved in furthering our knowledge on the HEV-specific immune responses, antigenic features of HEV virions, and development of serological assays and more recently prophylactic vaccines. This review will focus on presenting the evidence of the importance of HEV infection for certain cohorts such as pregnant women, the key antigenic determinants of the virus, and immunogenicity and clinical efficacy conferred by a newly developed prophylactic vaccine. Robust immunogenicity, greater than 195-fold and approximately 50-fold increase of anti-HEV IgG level in seronegative and seropositive vaccinees, respectively, as well as impressive clinical efficacy of this vaccine was demonstrated. The protection rate against the hepatitis E disease and the virus infection was shown to be 100 % (95 % CI 75–100) and 78 % (95 % CI 66–86), respectively.

Keywords

Hepatitis E Hepatitis E virus Antigenic determinants Vaccine Immunogenicity Vaccine efficacy