Last update July 14, 2023

Hepatitis E

Low Risk

Possibly safe. Probably compatible. Mild risk possible. Follow up recommended. Read the Comment.

Disease caused by the Hepatitis E virus (HEV), fecal-oral and vertical transmission during childbirth. Worldwide distribution but endemic in Southeast Asian and Central Asian countries. Generally benign, except in the third trimester of pregnancy when it can present as fulminant and fatal hepatitis (Chaudhry 2015, WHO 2014, Fiore 2009, Ranger 2002).

Although anti-HEV antibodies and HEV RNA have been found in colostrum and milk (Rivero 2016, Chibber 2004), transmission through breastfeeding has not been documented. (Krain 2014).

Transmission occurs exclusively in newborns born to mothers with acute illness at the time of delivery, even if they are not breastfed.(Chibber 2004)

Hepatitis E does not contraindicate breastfeeding. (Chaudhry 2015, Maher 2013, Sookoian 2006, Chibber 2004, Kumar 2001).

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.


Hepatitis E belongs to this group or family:


  1. Van de Perre P, Molès JP, Nagot N, Tuaillon E, Ceccaldi PE, Goga A, Prendergast AJ, Rollins N. Revisiting Koch's postulate to determine the plausibility of viral transmission by human milk. Pediatr Allergy Immunol. 2021 Jul;32(5):835-842. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  2. Rivero-Juarez A, Frias M, Rodriguez-Cano D, Cuenca-López F, Rivero A. Isolation of Hepatitis E Virus From Breast Milk During Acute Infection. Clin Infect Dis. 2016 Jun 1;62(11):1464. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  3. Chaudhry SA, Verma N, Koren G. Hepatitis E infection during pregnancy. Can Fam Physician. 2015 Jul;61(7):607-8. Abstract Full text (link to original source)
  4. WHO. Hepatitis E. Media centre. 2014 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  5. Krain LJ, Atwell JE, Nelson KE, Labrique AB. Fetal and neonatal health consequences of vertically transmitted hepatitis E virus infection. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2014 Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  6. OMS. Hepatitis E. Centro de Prensa. 2014 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. Maher Shams. Update in Liver Diseases with Pregnancy. Journal of GHR 2013 February 21 2(2): 391-398 2013 Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  8. Fiore S, Savasi V. Treatment of viral hepatitis in pregnancy. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2009 Abstract
  9. Sookoian S. Liver disease during pregnancy: acute viral hepatitis. Ann Hepatol. 2006 Abstract
  10. Chibber RM, Usmani MA, Al-Sibai MH. Should HEV infected mothers breast feed? Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2004 Abstract
  11. Ranger-Rogez S, Alain S, Denis F. [Hepatitis viruses: mother to child transmission]. Pathol Biol (Paris). 2002 Abstract
  12. Kumar RM, Uduman S, Rana S, Kochiyil JK, Usmani A, Thomas L. Sero-prevalence and mother-to-infant transmission of hepatitis E virus among pregnant women in the United Arab Emirates. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol. 2001 Abstract

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