Food and environmental routes of Hepatitis E virus transmission

Poel, W.H.M. van der


Abstract Hepatitis E virus (HEV), genus Hepevirus, family hepeviridae is a main cause of epidemic hepatitis in developing countries and single cases of hepatitis in higher income countries. There are at least four HEV genotypes which have different epidemiologic and clinical features. Hepatitis E viruses are often transmitted via food and environmental routes. The actual role of these transmission routes in the spread of HEV can depend on the virus genotype, the environmental conditions, the hygienic conditions and the types of foods consumed. In this review food and environmental routes of HEV transmission are discussed to raise the awareness regarding the focal points for the development of accurate prevention and control strategies of HEV infection, food safety and public health protection.