A liver infection is an inflammation of the liver caused by a virus, bacteria, or parasite and can impair the liver’s ability to perform its vital functions, such as filtering the blood, producing bile and metabolizing nutrients.
A liver infection can also lead to complications such as cirrhosis (scarring), liver failure and liver cancer.
There are different types of liver infections, each with its own symptoms and treatment.
The common type of liver infection is viral hepatitis, which is caused by one of several hepatitis viruses.
There are five main types of hepatitis viruses: A, B, C, D and E. Each type has different modes of transmission, symptoms and treatments.
Causes of liver disease & infections, types and symptoms:
⦁ Hepatitis A and E: These viruses are usually transmitted through contaminated food or water, or close contact with an infected person with symptoms such as fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and jaundice.
They cause acute (short-term) infection that typically resolves on its own. However, they can sometimes cause severe illness or liver failure in some people, especially those with pre-existing liver conditions or weakened immune systems.
⦁ Fatty liver disease (hepatic steatosis): A condition where excess fat builds up in the liver is known as Fatty liver disease (hepatic steatosis).
⦁ Hepatitis B and C: these are virus infection that are transmitted through blood or body fluids, such as through sharing needles, having unprotected sex, receiving blood transfusions or organ transplants, or from mother to child during birth.
They can cause both acute and chronic (long-term) infection that can persist for years. Chronic hepatitis B and C can lead to cirrhosis, liver failure or liver cancer.
⦁ Parasitic infections: are caused by parasites that invade the liver, such as amoebas, flukes or tapeworms and i's transmitted through contaminated food or water, or contact with infected animals or humans with symptoms such as fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes).
⦁ Bacterial infection: This is a less common type of liver infection that is caused by bacteria such as tuberculosis or brucellosis with symptoms such as fever, malaise, loss of appetite, abdominal pain and jaundice.
⦁ Fungal infections: are rare infections caused by fungi that affect the liver, such as candida or aspergillus, these mostly can occur in people with weakened immune systems due to conditions such as HIV/AIDS, cancer or organ transplantation. They can symptoms such as fever, chills, night sweats, weight loss and enlarged liver or spleen.