The scenario humans need to worry about would occur if the infection rate in pigs drops. At low infection rates, there is actually a higher chance pigs will pass on HEV to humans at slaughter.
Kunio Satou and Hiroshi Nishiura analysed blood test data from 2,500 pigs, natural hosts for the virus, on Japanese farms at Hokkaido, Honshu and Kyushu. They found that by the age of 150 days, over 95% of pigs had been infected with HEV.
Inoculation studies have shown that the virus remains in pigs’ faeces and some organs for up to 30 days after infection. This means that the chances of pigs excreting the virus when they are slaughtered at the age of 180 days are currently small. However, if the infection weakens and pigs don’t get infected with HEV until they are older, more pigs will still be carrying the virus when they reach the slaughterhouse.
HEV, which is found worldwide, can potentially cause acute hepatitis in humans. So monitoring infection rates could help protect meat processors and vets. The disease can be transmitted by drinking water contaminated with faeces as well as by eating pork: uncooked wild boar liver is one Japanese delicacy that frequently leads to infection.
Suckling pigs don’t contract the virus in their first 30 days, because a maternal antibody protects them. Vaccines are currently under development against HEV, although Satou and Nishiura suggest that changes in husbandry practices and avoiding eating raw liver might be more cost-effective measures should HEV’s hold on pig farms weaken.
Press Officer | alfa
Cascading use is also beneficial for wood
11.12.2017 | Technische Universität München
The future of crop engineering
08.12.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie
MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.
Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...
Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...
Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.
To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...
The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.
Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...
With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong
Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
07.12.2017 | Event News
12.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
12.12.2017 | Earth Sciences
12.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering