HEVnet is a global network of scientists working in hepatitis E reference laboratories. The network shares molecular and epidemiological data on hepatitis E virus (HEV).

About HEVnet

HEVNet is a laboratory network of hepatitis E virus experts across Europe, collaborating to perform supranational studies and sharing a joint repository.  The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment ) coordinated the implementation of this data sharing network and maintains the HEVNet database.

An article announcing this data sharing network has been published by Eurosurveillance.

Aims of HEVnet

  1. Distribution and trends of circulating human HEV subtypes: to use molecular typing to assess the distribution and trends in HEV geno- and subtypes circulating in humans 
  2. Molecular epidemiology: to analyse the distribution of subtypes in humans leading to a better understanding of the underlying epidemiology of HEV in Europe
  3. Cluster investigation: to combine human sequences with provided metadata of the human cases for cluster investigation and outbreak detection
  4. Relationship of viruses for source attribution: to trace the most likely reservoirs and sources of HEV, through identification of connections between human and nonhuman samples from food, animals and the environment via source attribution studies
  5. Virus evolution and spread: to do population genetics studies into the spread and evolution of hepatitis E.
  6. Clinical virology: severity of viral (sub)types: to assess pathogenicity of strains through assessment of relations between viral subtypes and severity of disease, looking at symptoms, hospitalization and mortality

Network

HEVnet consists of experts from multiple European countries working in:

  • national public health reference laboratories
  • veterinary research
  • food safety
  • blood safety
  • environmental research 

The setup of the network was supported by the ECDC.

Disclaimer: Some documents related to HEVnet have been produced under contract ECD.6538 in 2016 with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and the opinions expressed are those of the contractor only and do not represent the contracting authority’s official position.

Database

The HEVnet database is a password protected database with:

Microbiological data (Sequences of HEV + typing results), combined with metadata (source, time, place, clinical information) and several online analysis and visualization tools:

  • Incidence plots
  • Pie charts
  • Phylogenetic tree tool
  • Geographical plot

Typing tool

In order to ensure standardized typing of the sequences, all submitted sequences are typed using the publicly accessible HEV typing tool

Contact and membership

If you are interested in joining the HEVnet laboratory network, or have any questions, please mail to hevnet@rivm.nl. Membership allows you to access the molecular epidemiology database and analysis tools and involves the signing of a confidentiality agreement (pdf).