Prevalence of swine Hepatitis E virus in Europe and its role as emerging zoonosis and food-borne pathogen
AbstractHepatitis E virus (HEV) is responsible for enterically-transmitted acute hepatitis, a selflimiting disease in humans occurring via fecal-oral route. Hepatitis E virus is classified in the Hepeviridae family and consists of at least four genotypes. Genotypes 1 and 2 are restricted to humans and associated with epidemics in developing countries, whereas genotypes 3 and 4 are responsible for sporadic cases worldwide. Among all hepatitis (A, B, C and D), HEV is the only one with animal reservoirs. Swine HEV is widespread among pig population and several studies show phylogenetic relatedness between human and swine strains supporting the zoonotic hypothesis. Sporadic cases have also been linked to consumption of raw or undercooked food from infected animals. Therefore, swine strains of HEV pose not only a zoonotic risk but also food safety concerns. To assess this hypothesis, further investigations are required. The aim of the present article is to present a short overview on the HEV knowledge with respect to pig and human prevalence and its role as emerging zoonosis.
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Copyright (c) 2013 Eleonora Sarno, Adriano M.L. Santoro, Nicola Costanzo
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