Hepatitis E is an acute human disease caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV). In low-income countries, the virus has been involved in waterborne outbreaks. Autochthonous hepatitis E cases are increasingly reported in developed countries, where sporadic cases and small outbreak have been reported. The disease is normally self-limiting (mortality rate 1%), but chronic infections have recently been observed in transplanted patients. The etiological agent HEV is a small RNA virus infecting both humans and animals. Pigs and possibly other animal species are reservoir for HEV, and the consumption of raw contaminated animal meat and meat products has been linked to sporadic cases and small outbreaks of hepatitis E in humans. In the present study, we investigated the presence of HEV and fecal cross-contamination in both fresh and dry pork liver sausages in Italy bought at a grocery store in Italy. The genome of HEV was detected by qRT-PCR in both raw (10 out of 45 slices, 250 mg each, 22.2%) and dry (1 of 23 slices, 4.3%) liver sausages, but viability of the virus was not demonstrated. A phylogenetic tree was drawn using both RdRp and MTase fragments. Results confirmed presence of genotype 3 HEV strains and a correlation between the HEV genomes detected in liver sausages in this study with swine and human HEV strains reported in Europe, including Italy. This pilot study fosters more investigations on HEV presence in pork-derived food, to assess the possible risk for the consumers.

HEPATITIS E VIRUS IN PORK LIVER SAUSAGES SOLD IN ITALY

OSTANELLO, FABIO;
2015

Abstract

Hepatitis E is an acute human disease caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV). In low-income countries, the virus has been involved in waterborne outbreaks. Autochthonous hepatitis E cases are increasingly reported in developed countries, where sporadic cases and small outbreak have been reported. The disease is normally self-limiting (mortality rate 1%), but chronic infections have recently been observed in transplanted patients. The etiological agent HEV is a small RNA virus infecting both humans and animals. Pigs and possibly other animal species are reservoir for HEV, and the consumption of raw contaminated animal meat and meat products has been linked to sporadic cases and small outbreaks of hepatitis E in humans. In the present study, we investigated the presence of HEV and fecal cross-contamination in both fresh and dry pork liver sausages in Italy bought at a grocery store in Italy. The genome of HEV was detected by qRT-PCR in both raw (10 out of 45 slices, 250 mg each, 22.2%) and dry (1 of 23 slices, 4.3%) liver sausages, but viability of the virus was not demonstrated. A phylogenetic tree was drawn using both RdRp and MTase fragments. Results confirmed presence of genotype 3 HEV strains and a correlation between the HEV genomes detected in liver sausages in this study with swine and human HEV strains reported in Europe, including Italy. This pilot study fosters more investigations on HEV presence in pork-derived food, to assess the possible risk for the consumers.
I. DI BARTOLO; G. ANGELONI; E. PONTERIO; F. OSTANELLO; F. M. RUGGERI1.
File in questo prodotto:
Eventuali allegati, non sono esposti

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/505772
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact