Food Safety Risks Associated with Hepatitis E Virus Detection in Wild Boar Liver

Adriana ANITA, Daniela POREA, Andreea COZMA, Dragos ANITA, Gheorghe SAVUTA


Hepatitis E virus (HEV) has significantly impacted humans due to its potential to cause acute viral hepatitis. Discovery of hepatitis E virus in domestic pigs and wild boars worldwide and the realization that it is highly prevalent, raised concerns of the implications for food-borne transmission of HEV in Europe. Present work focusses on molecular detection of hepatitis E virus in wild boar liver samples, underlining the possible role of wildlife as a source of HEV transmission to humans. During hunting season 2016-2017, liver samples were collected from 37 wild boars in Iași and Suceava County. All tissues samples were submitted for RNA isolation followed by nested RT-PCR. Genetic characterization of wild boar HEV targeted the structural gene in the ORF2 region of hepatitis E virus genome. After specific amplification by nested RT-PCR of a 348 nt fragment from HEV ORF2, five liver samples positive for hepatitis E virus genotype 3 RNA were identified. In the present study HEV detection in Romanian fresh liver from wild boars highlights the importance of swine as a possible source of foodborne transmission. Moreover, our results along with the reviewed literature data emphasize the necessity of efficient food safety control measures implementation.


hepatitis E virus; food-borne transmission; wild boar.

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