Hepatitis E: Paradigm of a food-borne zoonotic emerging disease in Europe



Nerea García Benzaquén was funded by the Med-Vet-Net Association to hold a two-day workshop: HEV2018 Hepatitis E Workshop 4 and 5 June 2018  at the VISAVET Health Surveillance Centre, Madrid, Spain


OBJECTIVE: The global workshop objective was to share and update the knowledge about HEV at European level with the ultimate goal of establishing a hepatitis E consortium and a network in order to apply for European calls (Horizon 2020). 


REPORT: Hepatitis E is an important viral infection in developing and developed countries. In Europe HEV has been regarded as an emerging and relevant foodborne risk by different authorities (such as EFSA or ECDC) who emphasize that more research is needed in order to clarify many unknown aspects of the disease.

A two days’ Workshop focused on HEV was held at the VISAVET Centre of the Complutense University of Madrid from the 4th to the 5th of June 2018. Fourteen expert speakers from 14 institutions of 8 different countries were present at the meeting. An additional four abstracts were selected for oral presentations and the authors received full cost scholarships (MEDVENET partners). Researchers who received grants included Morgane Salines (ANSES, France), Susan Withenshaw (APHA, UK), Ana Avellón (ISCII, Spain) and Carmen Varela (ISCII, Spain). A total of 63 participants from 11 European countries attended the workshop. Fourteen high quality posters were exhibited and presented at the meeting. The award for best poster went to Florence Abravanel (ANSES, France).  The structure of the Workshop consisted of four diverse and coordinated thematic blocks (Introduction, Hepatitis E Epidemiology, Methodology and Control & Prevention), which covered the main aspects of HEV and HEV-infection.  We had the opportunity to listen to multidisciplinary speakers (veterinarians, virologists, epidemiologists, clinicians, etc.) who disseminated their research, sharing their experiences with the attenders. The scheduled programme allowed enough time for questions and discussion. It was a really interesting and fruitful workshop and we were able to achieve our main goal that was to share and update knowledge about HEV and HEV infection.