Zoonosis has been suggested for hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection. However, current evidence is indirect.
In this study, researchers in Japan evaluated several cases of HEV infection in people who had eaten uncooked deer meat 6 to 7 weeks previously.
|Patients had eaten uncooked deer meat 6 to 7 weeks earlier.|
The team was able to test a frozen portion of the meat eaten by the infected patients for HEV RNA. They found that the nucleotide sequence was identical to those from the patients.
Furthermore, patients' family members who ate none or very little of the deer meat remained uninfected.
Dr Shuchin Tei's team concluded, "These findings provide direct evidence for HEV infection to be a zoonosis".