: Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is the etiological agent of acute viral hepatitis, a disease transmitted by the oral-faecal route. In Europe, zoonotic transmission of HEV-3 genotype is associated with the consumption of raw or slightly cooked meat of pigs and wild boars that are considered the main reservoirs. This work aims to assess the occurrence of swines' HEV RNA liver samples and rectal swabs slaughtered in Sicily using biomolecular methods. HEV-RNA was detected in 17.5 % (21/120) liver samples analyzed and in 3.7 % (3/81) rectal swabs examined. All positive samples were predicted as genotype 3 and subtype 3c (75 %). These data suggest a potential HEV transmission to humans through close contact with pig breeders, veterinarians, slaughterhouse personnel, and pork meat product consumption. Moreover, there are few scientific data evaluating the HEV spread around pigs and humans in Sicily. Therefore, further studies are necessary to correlate humans with swine serotypes and to assess the HEV presence and persistence in food and the risk during the slaughtering process. These surveys allow to clarify the role of the swine species as a potential source of infection for other domestic or wild animals and humans and to establish possible control measures throughout the food chain.

Epidemiological and genetic evaluation of HEV in swine slaughtered in Sicily region (Italy)

Patrizio Lorusso;Elisabetta Bonerba;Annamaria Pandiscia
;
Giancarlo Bozzo;Roberta Piredda;Alessio Manfredi;Valentina Terio
2023-01-01

Abstract

: Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is the etiological agent of acute viral hepatitis, a disease transmitted by the oral-faecal route. In Europe, zoonotic transmission of HEV-3 genotype is associated with the consumption of raw or slightly cooked meat of pigs and wild boars that are considered the main reservoirs. This work aims to assess the occurrence of swines' HEV RNA liver samples and rectal swabs slaughtered in Sicily using biomolecular methods. HEV-RNA was detected in 17.5 % (21/120) liver samples analyzed and in 3.7 % (3/81) rectal swabs examined. All positive samples were predicted as genotype 3 and subtype 3c (75 %). These data suggest a potential HEV transmission to humans through close contact with pig breeders, veterinarians, slaughterhouse personnel, and pork meat product consumption. Moreover, there are few scientific data evaluating the HEV spread around pigs and humans in Sicily. Therefore, further studies are necessary to correlate humans with swine serotypes and to assess the HEV presence and persistence in food and the risk during the slaughtering process. These surveys allow to clarify the role of the swine species as a potential source of infection for other domestic or wild animals and humans and to establish possible control measures throughout the food chain.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/417655
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