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- Hepatitis A virus (HAV): non-enveloped, icosahedral, positive-stranded RNA virus
- Spread via fecal-oral route; more prevalent in low and middle-income countries (20-30% of people in U.S. are seropositive).
- Transmission through contaminated food and water (including furits and packaged foods imported into the US) and through some sexual practices (oral-anal & digital-anal sex); multiple sexual partners and MSM are risks.
- Pathogenesis from robust HAV-specific CD8+ T-cell, NK T-cell, and IFN response leading to hepatocyte destruction.