Friday, 30 May 2014

Germany - Hepatitis E in Blood Transfusions

There is little surprise in this report, published yesterday.

We have been watching, recording, collating and publishing the HEV situation in pigs and pig people in Britain and elsewhere for some years, but it will send shivers through a UK pig and veterinary industry that was already culling large numbers of pigs in Suffolk with swine dysentery in the last couple of weeks.

There is plenty of information on the Hepatitis E situation in the UK and NHS investigations on this blog over years: use the search box on the top left.

We give just a few selected quotes from Eurosurveillance, as always read the whole report here.

Eurosurveillance, Volume 19, Issue 21, 29 May 2014
Rapid communications
D Huzly1, M Umhau2, D Bettinger3, T Cathomen2, F Emmerich2, P Hasselblatt3, H Hengel1, R Herzog2, O Kappert4, S Maassen4, E Schorb5, C Schulz-Huotari2, R Thimme3, R Unm├╝ssig4, J J Wenzel6, M Panning ()1

Institute for Virology, University Medical Center, Freiburg, Germany
Institute for Cell and Gene Therapy, University Medical Center,
Freiburg, Germany
Department of Medicine II, University Medical Center, Freiburg,
Public Health Office, Freiburg, Germany
Department of Medicine I, University Medical Center, Freiburg, Germany
Institute of Clinical Microbiology and Hygiene, Regensburg University
Medical Center, Regensburg, Germany

...HEV recently emerged as a transfusion-transmissible pathogen, with reports from France, the United Kingdom, and Japan [2-4]. In Europe, the vast majority of autochthonous HEV infections are caused by HEV genotype 3 (gt-3) and are linked to the consumption of contaminated food. ...

...An estimated 30–40% of blood products in Germany were transfused to immunocompromised patients and these patients are at risk of developing chronic HEV gt-3 infection with increased mortality [5]. Sequence analysis of HEV strains from the Czech Republic, Germany and the Netherlands showed close homology indicating a geographically confined circulation [8]. This is supported by the high degree of sequence identity of our and recent Czech and Dutch sequences. Zoonotic transmission from pigs to humans seems to be the major mode of infection, but occupational exposure to pigs was not reported in our case [6]...