jeudi 13 décembre 2012

Endemicity of hepatitis E virus in the swine population in France and probable foodborne zoonotic transmissions

 It is now well established that the majority of viral hepatitis E cases identified in France is autochthonous and is not linked to a travel in tropical or subtropical countries where hepatitis E virus (HEV) is endemic. HEV genotypes identified in autochthonous cases correspond to those found in animals. There is still a lack of information regarding the extent of the infection in the swine population in France, as well as in the potential routes of zoonotic contaminations. A survey was performed in France in order to estimate the virological and serological prevalence of HEV in the swine population and to determine if it could be at the origin of human cases by comparing HEV sequences circulating in both human and swine populations. Results enabled to show that HEV is enzootic in the swine population, with 65% of farms being affected and 4% of livers entering the food chain being contaminated. The analysis of sequences found in livers collected at slaughterhouse showed high identities with human strains, suggesting a direct link in cases of human contaminations. The presence of HEV in swine livers suggests that HEV zoonotic transmissions would be foodborne. These studies will allow to determine surveillance and/or control measures in order to limit the number of hepatitis E cases of zoonotic origin in France.

Nicole Pavio (1) (, Nicolas Rose (2), Jérôme Bouquet (1), Sophie Tessé (3), Elisabeth Nicand (4)
Source : Bulletin épidémiologique, santé animale et alimentation no 52 (page 16)

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