Hepatitis is a general term meaning inflammation of the liver, which can be caused by a variety of viruses. However, a substantial number of cases remain with unknown aetiology. We analysed the serum of patients with clinical signs of hepatitis using a metagenomics approach to characterize their viral species composition. Four pools of patients with hepatitis without identified aetiological agents were evaluated. Additionally, one pool of patients with hepatitis E (HEV) and pools of healthy volunteers were included as controls. A high diversity of anelloviruses, including novel sequences, was found in pools from patients with hepatitis of unknown aetiology. Moreover, viruses recently associated with gastroenteritis as sapovirus GV.2 and astrovirus VA3 were also detected only in those pools. Besides, most of the HEV genome was recovered from the HEV pool. Finally, GB virus C and human endogenous retrovirus were found in the HEV and healthy pools. Our study provides an overview of the virome in serum from hepatitis patients suggesting a potential role of these viruses not previously described in cases of hepatitis. However, further epidemiologic studies are necessary to confirm their contribution to the development of hepatitis.
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© 2017 Gonzales-Gustavson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.