Low prevalence of hepatitis E virus in the liver of Corsican pigs slaughtered after 12 months despite high antibody seroprevalence - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Journal Articles Transboundary and emerging diseases Year : 2022

Low prevalence of hepatitis E virus in the liver of Corsican pigs slaughtered after 12 months despite high antibody seroprevalence

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Marie Pellerin
  • Function : Author
Virginie Doceul
Nicole Pavio
  • Function : Correspondent author

Abstract

Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection can be acute and benign or evolve to chronic hepatitis with rapid progression toward cirrhosis or liver failure in humans. Hence, Hepatitis E (HE) disease is a major public health concern. In countries where pig populations are highly contaminated with HEV, human cases of HE are mainly foodborne, occurring frequently after consumption of raw or undercooked pork products or liver. Among factors associated to the presence of HEV in pork livers from intensive rearing systems, early slaughter (≤6 months) seems to be major. In Corsica, local pigs are raised in extensive farming systems and slaughtered after 12 months. To evaluate if slaughter of pigs over 12 months reduces the risk of HEV presence in livers, 1 197 liver samples were randomly collected in 2 Corsican slaughterhouses. Presence of HEV RNA was detected in liver and HEV seroprevalence was determined in paired serum. The sampling included 1,083 livers from animals between 12 and 48 months and 114 livers from animals < 12 months. The samples were predominantly from semi-extensive and extensive farms (n = 1 ,154). Estimated HEV seroprevalence was high, > 88% and HEV RNA prevalence in adult pig livers (>12-month-old) was low 0.18 %. However, in livers from younger animals (< 12 months), including piglets below 6-month-old, 5.3% (6/114) of the samples were positive for HEV RNA. Sequences recovered from positive livers belonged to HEV genotype 3c and 3f. The presence of infectious HEV was confirmed in 2 livers by the detection of HEV replication in HepaRG cell cultures. Thus, this study, demonstrates the low prevalence of HEV in livers of pigs over 12 months, even in farms with high HEV circulation. This observation may open new perspectives on the preferential use of livers from animals older than 12 months in raw pork liver products.
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Origin : Publication funded by an institution

Dates and versions

hal-03708375 , version 1 (04-01-2023)

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Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives - CC BY 4.0

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Marie Pellerin, Bastien Trabucco, Lisandru Capai, Morgane Laval, Oscar Maestrini, et al.. Low prevalence of hepatitis E virus in the liver of Corsican pigs slaughtered after 12 months despite high antibody seroprevalence. Transboundary and emerging diseases, 2022, 69 (5), pp.e2706-e2718. ⟨10.1111/tbed.14621⟩. ⟨hal-03708375⟩
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