UK study finds hepatitis E in sausages

By Carina Perkins

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Wild boar, Livestock, Pork

One in 10 pork sausages in the UK are infected with the hepatitis E virus, according to a new report from the UK.

The report, published by the  Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), revealed that 10% of sausages sampled at point of sale from UK retailers tested positive for the virus, which can cause liver damage. It added that “similar findings have been reported from other European laboratories.”

It also stated that an investigation by the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) found serological evidence of hepatitis E in 49% of pig samples taken from Scotland.

There were 657 cases of human hepatitis in 2012, a 39% increase on 2011, and the report pointed out that “studies have shown that non-travel-related cases are infected by hepatitis E virus genotype 3, similar to that carried by British pigs.”

It added that a multi-agency pig abattoir survey would be conducted in 2013 to establish the possible role of infection in pigs on the incidence of the disease in humans.

Related topics: Meat

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