Expert consultation meeting on molecular characterisation of hepatitis A virus for outbreak detection and response

23 Oct 2014 - 24 Oct 2014

ECDCs expert consultation supported enhanced detection and investigation of hepatitis A foodborne outbreaks in the EU.

Recent foodborne outbreaks of Hepatitis A virus (HAV) affecting multiple European Member States highlight the importance of comparability of molecular characterization of HAV across public health and food safety sectors. However, protocols for HAV molecular typing from human samples, when existing, proved to be heterogeneous amongst EU Member States. In addition, detection of HAV in food is challenging due to low viral load, and comparison between human and food sequences is further hampered because of the use of different sequencing protocols.

A multi-disciplinary group of public health and food safety experts in HAV molecular characterisation from Member States gathered in Stockholm to focus on agreeing a common framework for molecular typing of hepatitis A in outbreak situations.