Viruses: Hepatitis E Virus

Cook, N.; Martelli, F.; Poel, W.H.M. van der; Ruggeri, Franco M.


Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a nonenveloped single-stranded ribonucleic acid virus, classified into four genotypes with a single serotype. HEV infection can result in liver damage, and symptoms can be particularly severe in pregnant women. HEV is also found in a variety of animal species, including pigs, which has prompted concern over zoonotic transmission of the virus. Several cases of foodborne transmission of hepatitis E have been reported, often involving consumption of meat, especially raw or undercooked. However, thorough cooking can inactivate the virus. Information is lacking on the exact extent of foodborne transmission of HEV.