Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hepatitis E In Europe: Are Pigs Or Pork The Problem?

Date:
September 4, 2007
Source:
Society for General Microbiology
Summary:
Hepatitis E virus infections can be fatal in pregnant women, but until recently doctors thought the disease was confined to China, India and developing countries. Now people are also contracting the disease in Europe according to scientists.

Hepatitis E virus infections can be fatal in pregnant women, but until recently doctors thought the disease was confined to China, India and developing countries. Now Europeans are also contracting the disease here, according to scientists.

Related Articles


Hepatitis E virus is one of the few viruses which has been shown to be transmitted directly from animals through food. It was recently thought to be confined to developing countries, and although scientists are still unsure exactly how it spreads to people, direct contact with pigs or eating contaminated pork products is a likely route.

"If this proves to be a relevant route for pig to human infection for Hepatitis E in Europe, food safety regulations might need to be adapted accordingly," says Dutch researcher Erwin Duizer. "Where we do find Hepatitis E virus identified in Europe then the strain is usually closely related to the viruses found in pigs in the same country."

Far fewer cases of Hepatitis E virus are reported than actually occur, since doctors currently rarely ask for the relevant diagnostic tests in many industrialized countries. Although they do not yet know the exact route for most infections, the scientists do know that these viruses can infect people if they eat infected pig's livers without cooking them.

Genetic material from Hepatitis E viruses has already been detected in pig livers being offered for sale in Japan, USA and the Netherlands, proving that European pigs are in contact with Hepatitis E. Wild boar products could present a similar risk.

"To improve understanding of this disease, doctors should routinely start asking for Hepatitis E screening tests, even if the patient has not been travelling in India, China or other countries where they might expect to be at risk of infection" says Erwin Duizer. "Once more people are correctly diagnosed with viral Hepatitis E, they can be treated more effectively and we can learn more on the transmission routes. Current rates of diagnosis are up to13% of acute viral hepatitis patients in European countries, but we think the true rate is much higher. Up to 3% of blood donors in Europe show evidence of exposure to the virus through detectable antibodies."

"We also need to quickly work out the local route of infection in Europeans, as knowing if Hepatitis E is directly caused by eating pork meat or liver, or caused by foods or people being in contact with pig faeces, will make it possible to implement effective preventive measures", says Erwin Duizer.

Dr Duizer presented the paper 'Endemic HEV in Europe: prevalence and transmission' at 1445 on 03 September 2007 in the Microbial Infection Group session of the 161st Meeting of the Society for General Microbiology at the University of Edinburgh, 03 - 06 September 2007.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society for General Microbiology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society for General Microbiology. "Hepatitis E In Europe: Are Pigs Or Pork The Problem?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070903205004.htm>.
Society for General Microbiology. (2007, September 4). Hepatitis E In Europe: Are Pigs Or Pork The Problem?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070903205004.htm
Society for General Microbiology. "Hepatitis E In Europe: Are Pigs Or Pork The Problem?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070903205004.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

The Best Tips to Curb Holiday Carbs

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) It's hard to resist those delicious but fattening carbs we all crave during the winter months, but there are some ways to stay satisfied without consuming the extra calories. Vanessa Freeman (@VanessaFreeTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

Sierra Leone Bikers Spread the Message to Fight Ebola

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) More than 100 motorcyclists hit the road to spread awareness messages about Ebola. Nearly 7,000 people have now died from the virus, almost all of them in west Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

The Best Protein-Filled Foods to Energize You for the New Year

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) The new year is coming and nothing will energize you more for 2015 than protein-filled foods. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) gives his favorite high protein foods that will help you build muscle, lose fat and have endless energy. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins