Cause found for mysterious hepatitis in children?

  • Since May 2022, physicians in 35 countries have diagnosed more than 1,000 children with mysterious hepatitis: Several children died, and others required liver transplants.
  • Among the suspected causes were adenoviruses. Two research teams from London and Glasgow now corroborate the suspicion that adenoviruses triggered liver inflammations.
  • Both teams report that they detected the complete genomes of adeno-associated virus 2 (AAV2) in the livers and blood of most of the patients studied. In addition, they identified two helper viruses that could allow the adenovirus to enter liver cells, thereby increasing susceptibility.
  • AAV2 cannot replicate without outside help, but both research groups also detected corresponding helpers: the HAdV and HHV6B, known as helper viruses.
  • However, it is still unclear why the virus causes this serious disease in such large numbers. In principle, adenoviruses only extremely rarely lead to hepatitis.
  • The virus has not yet been visualized under the electron microscope; moreover, there is no experimental proof that it really does infect the liver and cause damage there.  Further studies are urgently needed.
  • Ref: https://www.science.org/content/article/mystery-hepatitis-cases-in-kids-linked-to-unexpected-viral-suspect

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