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
Ammonium nitrogen input increases the synthesis of anticarcinogenic compounds in broccoli
26.04.2017 | University of the Basque Country
New data unearths pesticide peril in beehives
21.04.2017 | Cornell University
More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
27.04.2017 | Life Sciences
27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences