Potential Approaches to Assess the Infectivity of Hepatitis E Virus in Pork Products: A Review

Potential Approaches to Assess the Infectivity of Hepatitis E Virus in Pork Products: A Review The zoonotic transmission of hepatitis E, caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV), is an emerging issue. HEV appears common in pigs (although infected pigs do not show clinical signs), and evidence suggests that a number of hepatitis E cases have been associated with the consumption of undercooked pork meat and products. Little information is available on whether cooking can eliminate HEV, since there is currently no robust method for measuring its infectivity. HEV infectivity can be clearly demonstrated by monitoring for signs of infection (e.g., shedding of virus) in an animal model. However, this approach has several disadvantages, such as lack of reproducibility and unsuitability for performing large numbers of tests, high costs, and not least ethical considerations. Growth in cell culture can unambiguously show that a virus is infectious and has the potential for replication, without the disadvantages of using animals. Large numbers of tests can also be performed, which can make the results more amenable to statistical interpretation. However, no HEV cell culture system has been shown to be applicable to all HEV strains, none has been standardized, and few studies have demonstrated their use for measurement of HEV infectivity in food samples. Nonetheless, cell culture remains the most promising approach, and the main recommendation of this review is that there should be an extensive research effort to develop and validate a cell culture-based method for assessing HEV infectivity in pork products. Systems comprising promising cell lines and HEV strains which can grow well in cell culture should be tested to select an assay for effective and reliable measurement of HEV infectivity over a wide range of virus concentrations. The assay should then be harnessed to a procedure which can extract HEV from pork products, to produce a method suitable for further use. The method can then be used to determine the effect of heat or other elimination processes on HEV in pork meat and products, or to assess whether HEV detected in any surveyed foodstuffs is infectious and therefore poses a risk to public health. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Food and Environmental Virology Springer Journals

Potential Approaches to Assess the Infectivity of Hepatitis E Virus in Pork Products: A Review

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Biomedicine; Virology; Food Science; Chemistry/Food Science, general
ISSN
1867-0334
eISSN
1867-0342
D.O.I.
10.1007/s12560-017-9303-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The zoonotic transmission of hepatitis E, caused by the hepatitis E virus (HEV), is an emerging issue. HEV appears common in pigs (although infected pigs do not show clinical signs), and evidence suggests that a number of hepatitis E cases have been associated with the consumption of undercooked pork meat and products. Little information is available on whether cooking can eliminate HEV, since there is currently no robust method for measuring its infectivity. HEV infectivity can be clearly demonstrated by monitoring for signs of infection (e.g., shedding of virus) in an animal model. However, this approach has several disadvantages, such as lack of reproducibility and unsuitability for performing large numbers of tests, high costs, and not least ethical considerations. Growth in cell culture can unambiguously show that a virus is infectious and has the potential for replication, without the disadvantages of using animals. Large numbers of tests can also be performed, which can make the results more amenable to statistical interpretation. However, no HEV cell culture system has been shown to be applicable to all HEV strains, none has been standardized, and few studies have demonstrated their use for measurement of HEV infectivity in food samples. Nonetheless, cell culture remains the most promising approach, and the main recommendation of this review is that there should be an extensive research effort to develop and validate a cell culture-based method for assessing HEV infectivity in pork products. Systems comprising promising cell lines and HEV strains which can grow well in cell culture should be tested to select an assay for effective and reliable measurement of HEV infectivity over a wide range of virus concentrations. The assay should then be harnessed to a procedure which can extract HEV from pork products, to produce a method suitable for further use. The method can then be used to determine the effect of heat or other elimination processes on HEV in pork meat and products, or to assess whether HEV detected in any surveyed foodstuffs is infectious and therefore poses a risk to public health.

Journal

Food and Environmental VirologySpringer Journals

Published: May 3, 2017

References

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