Phylogenetic demonstration of hepatitis E infection transmitted by pork meat ingestion

Mar Riveiro-Barciela, Beatriz Mínguez, Rosa Gironés, Francisco Rodriguez-Frías, Josep Quer, María Buti

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67 Citations (Scopus)


© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is responsible for a small number of acute hepatitis in developed countries. In this setting, HEV infection seems to be a zoonosis, although this has not been completely demonstrated. High morbidity and mortality associated with severe acute infections have been described, as well as the possible role of ribavirin therapy in those cases. We describe a case of acute hepatitis after pork meat ingestion in a patient with Waldeström macroglobulinemia with immunoglobulin A deficiency. Acute hepatitis E was diagnosed based on positive IgM anti-HEV antibodies and HEV RNA detected by real-time PCR. Because of clinical and analytical worsening, ribavirin was initiated, achieving sustained virologic response after 12 weeks of treatment. The phylogenetic analysis revealed the same HEV strain genotype 3 in both plasma and consumed meat samples, proving the zoonotic transmission. Regarding immunocompromised patients, acute hepatitis E can be associated to high morbidity and mortality rate, so dietetic recommendations may be needed to avoid the virus transmission.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-168
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2015


  • acute hepatitis
  • hepatitis E virus
  • ribavirin
  • zoonotic transmission


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