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Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites, autoimmune conditions, reactions to certain drugs, heavy alcohol use, and other toxins.

Hepatitis also refers to a family of viral infections that affect the liver; the five identified infections are caused by viruses labeled A, B, C, D, and E. Each virus has different routes of transmission and different prognoses.

Read more about the causes, transmission, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of viral hepatitis.

NIAID Role in Hepatitis Research

NIAID has made groundbreaking contributions to the field of hepatitis research. NIAID scientists discovered the hepatitis A and E viruses; developed one of the first diagnostic tests for hepatitis A; and were instrumental in the creation of the hepatitis A vaccine, which is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for all children over 1 year old. Today, NIAID continues its leadership by conducting and supporting research to better understand the development of hepatitis diseases and their effect on the immune system and to develop novel treatments and vaccines against diseases caused by hepatitis viruses. Learn more about NIAID hepatitis research.


Last Updated March 06, 2015