Viral hepatitis biological samples:
Utilization in research and sourcing

The development of drugs and diagnostic tests for the treatment and detection of hepatitis viruses requires conducting studies on biological samples obtained from patients with viral hepatitis.

Here's a brief overview of various infectious diseases caused by hepatitis viruses and how the service provided by Labtoo contributes to accelerating R&D projects in the pharmaceutical industry.


Are you looking for biological samples from patients with hepatitis?

What are hepatitis viruses?

Viral hepatitis refers to inflammations of the liver caused by viral infection. They are primarily attributed to five major viruses: hepatitis A virus (HAV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis D virus (HDV), and hepatitis E virus (HEV).

Hepatitis A, B, and C account for the majority of cases. Hepatitis D manifests only in individuals infected with hepatitis B virus, making it a particularly rare occurrence. It is noteworthy that the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), associated with infectious mononucleosis, can also cause hepatitis.

These viruses belong to different viral families: hepatitis A is classified in the Picornaviridae, hepatitis B in the Hepadnaviridae, hepatitis C in the Flaviviridae, hepatitis D in the Deltaviridae, and hepatitis E in the Hepeviridae. This diversity results in distinct biological characteristics, varied transmission mechanisms, and different clinical outcomes, although some share similarities.

Transmission of these viruses varies by type: fecal-oral transmission through ingestion of contaminated water or food, sexual transmission through unprotected intercourse, bloodborne transmission through sharing needles or unsafe transfusions, and vertical transmission from mother to child during gestation, childbirth, or breastfeeding.

It is worth noting that hepatitis B and C can become chronic, with higher rates of chronicity for hepatitis C (between 50 and 80% of cases). This chronicity can lead to serious complications such as liver cirrhosis and liver cancer, highlighting the importance of prevention, early detection, and treatment of viral hepatitis.

Viral hepatitis illustration
Hepatitis Virus Characteristics Modes of Transmission
Hepatitis A (HAV) Single-stranded RNA virus Fecal-oral route, Foodborne route
Hepatitis B (HBV)

- Double-stranded DNA virus

- Can become chronic

Perinatal transmission, Contact with contaminated blood, Contact with contaminated bodily fluids
Hepatitis C (HCV)

- Single-stranded RNA virus

- Can become chronic

Contact with contaminated blood
Hepatitis D (HDV)

- Circular single-stranded RNA viru

- Cannot replicate without presence of HBV

Contact with contaminated blood
Hepatitis E (HEV) Single-stranded RNA virus Fecal-oral route


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Explore Labtoo's Service for Your Biological Sample Research

Labtoo assists you in sourcing biological samples from patients infected with Hepatitis. Our team manages the entire project of transferring biological materials from inception to sample delivery.

  • Feasibility assessment of sample availability or clinical collection from referenced clinical centers
  • Validation of regulatory aspects
  • Establishment of a contractual framework
  • Dispatch of desired samples under appropriate conditions
  • Transfer of associated clinical data
  • Additional analytical and experimental services

Types of available samples



For viral hepatitis transmitted via the fecal-oral route, notably cases of hepatitis A, stool samples can be utilized to detect the presence of the virus and investigate its transmission.

Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF)

In the event of a nervous system infection, collecting samples of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is essential to identify the pathogen as well as its stage of progression.



Blood derivatives
  • Whole blood:  from patients with hepatitis
  • PBMC (Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells)
  • Serum/Plasma: It is commonly used to detect serological markers of hepatitis virus infection, such as antibodies or viral antigens.
  • Fresh Tissues: Following liver resection or biopsy, a pathologist can determine if the liver tissue sample can be used for research purposes. Labtoo is able to arrange the preparation and shipment of fresh diseased tissue within 24 to 48 hours after surgery.
  • Frozen Tissues (OCT and FF):Similarly to fresh tissues, once tissues are authorized for research, the clinical site can freeze and store infectious tissue samples at -80°C or in liquid nitrogen for future use.
  • FFPE Tissues

Typical associated clinical data

    • Age
    • Sex
    • Ethnicity
    • Detection method
    • Vaccination status
    • Serological / Cytological / Virological / Histological results
    • PCR data (CT, protocol, reagents...)
    • Viral load
    • Follow-up treatment
    • Symptomatology
    • Medical imaging
    • Positivity/negativity for certain infections
    • Other
Samples blood Labtoo 200-1

Our service identifies clinical sites capable of preparing and transferring a sample collection for a specific project.

Contact our team to discuss your project.

Symptoms of hepatic infection

Symptoms of viral hepatitis can vary depending on the type of virus, the severity of the infection, and the immune response of the infected individual. Here are the common symptoms associated with viral hepatitis:

  • Persistent fatigue and general weakness

  • Fever

  • Loss of appetite

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Abdominal pain, especially in the liver region

  • Dark urine

  • Pale stools

  • Jaundice, characterized by yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes

It is important to note that some individuals infected with viral hepatitis may be asymptomatic. Nevertheless, even in the absence of symptoms, these individuals can still transmit the virus to others.


Diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis

The diagnosis of viral hepatitis primarily relies on blood tests aiming to detect specific viral markers, such as antigens or antibodies directed against the virus. These tests help identify the type of hepatitis virus and assess the severity of the infection.

Concurrently, liver function tests are also conducted to measure levels of liver enzymes and other substances in the liver, providing indications of its functioning and potential dysfunction.

Treatments vary depending on the type of hepatitis:

Hepatitis A

No specific treatment is prescribed; recovery typically occurs spontaneously within a few weeks.

Patients are encouraged to avoid unnecessary medications and alcohol consumption, which may impair liver function.

A vaccine for hepatitis A exists but is not mandatory.

Hepatitis B

Antiviral medications and interferon (an immunomodulatory drug) may be prescribed in cases of severe symptoms.

In the absence of severe symptoms, no medication treatment is necessary.

Since 2018, hepatitis B vaccination has been mandatory for all infants.

Hepatitis C

Antiviral medications are prescribed as the first-line treatment, with a recommendation to avoid alcohol consumption.



Hepatitis D

There is no specific treatment for hepatitis D, although interferon may sometimes be used.

Hepatitis E

There is no specific treatment for hepatitis E, and recovery typically occurs spontaneously.

Patients are advised to maintain good hygiene and abstain from consuming alcohol.

Complications of viral hepatic infection

Complications associated with viral hepatitis vary depending on the type of virus, the severity of the infection, and the individual's immune response. Chronic forms of hepatitis pose an increased risk of long-term complications. Among the most common complications are: 

Liver cirrhosis

Untreated chronic hepatitis can progress to cirrhosis, characterized by liver fibrosis and functional impairment.

Liver cancer

Chronic hepatitis, especially hepatitis B and C, increases the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma. This risk is higher in patients with cirrhosis

Acute liver failure

In severe cases of viral hepatitis, acute liver failure may occur, leading to rapid deterioration of liver function and potentially requiring emergency liver transplantation.

Other complications

Additional complications may include gastrointestinal bleeding, secondary infections, abnormalities in blood clotting, and metabolic disturbances.

Samples blood Labtoo 200-1

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    Supplementary resources

    Drug dev EN-1
    Liver anatomy
    Enzymes & alcohol EN