Developed by CEERAM SAS, this kit allows the detection of hepatitis E virus (HEV) by real time RT- PCR in all types of food samples (shellfish, fruits, vegetables, processed foods...). Hepatitis E virus is a non-enveloped single strand RNA virus from the Hepeviridae family, genus Hepevirus and include 4 genotypes (I,2,3,4). The severity of the clinical signs increases with the going age of asymptomatic case in the young children (< 6 years old) with cases of acute (mortaliy rate of 2%) or fulminant hepatitis in pregnant women (mortaliy rate of 20%). The transmission via the fecal-oral route is the most usual. It should be noted that an important animal tank exists.
Food samples can be contaminated via food handlers or by the environment. Due to their structural properties, Hepatitis E viruses can survive to different food process. The consumption of contaminated food can lead to human outbreaks. There is no specific curative treatment but a vaccine is available.
The diagnostic by serological methods is not appropriated to detect the HEV. Detection by real time RT-PCR, after extraction and purification of the viral RNA, is a method of choice taking into account its speed and its sensitivity. The detection limit varied from 1 to 10 copies depending of the quality of the analyzed nucleic acids.