Hepatitis E and patients with suppressed immune systems including transplant

UPDATED 14 AUGUST 18:17 FOLLOWING REVISED DOCUMENTATION FROM NHSBT

PSC Support has been advised by NHS Blood and Transplant and the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Blood, Tissues and Organs that the incidence of Hepatitis E (HEV) is increasing in Europe (see letter). They have stressed that the impact that the virus might have on the transplant recipient is unknown. At present, reports in the UK and the rest of the world suggest it is not a major issue but there are reported cases of patients developing fibrosis and cirrhosis.

Although the virus may be transmitted by blood, blood products and the transplanted organ, food is an important source. Pork products have been associated with illness due to HEV. Consumers should continue to follow Food Standards Authority cooking advice which is that all whole cuts of pork, pork products and offal should be thoroughly cooked until steaming hot throughout, the meat is no longer pink and the juices run clear.

 

Further information:

 

Patient Information Sheet:

14 August 2015