Involvement of Egyptian Foods in Foodborne Viral Illnesses: The Burden on Public Health and Related Environmental Risk Factors: An Overview

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Foodborne viral diseases are a major public health threat and pose a huge burden on the economies of both developed and developing countries. Enteric viruses are the causative agents of most foodborne illnesses and outbreaks. Egypt is classified by WHO among the regions with intermediate to high endemicity for various enteric viruses. This is manifested by the high prevalence rates of different enteric virus infections among Egyptian population such as Hepatitis A and E viruses, human rotaviruses, human noroviruses, human astroviruses, and human adenovirus. Recently, a number of foodborne gastroenteritis and acute hepatitis outbreaks have occurred in the US, Canada, Australia, and the European Union countries. Some of these outbreaks were attributed to the consumption of minimally processed foods imported from Egypt indicating the possibility that Egyptian foods may also be partially responsible for high prevalence of enteric virus infections among Egyptian population. In the absence of official foodborne-pathogen surveillance systems, evaluating the virological safety of Egyptian foods is a difficult task. In this review, we aim to provide a preliminary evaluation of the virological safety of Egyptian foods. A comprehensive review of prevalence studies on enteric virus infections shows hyperendemicity of several enteric viruses in Egypt and provides strong evidence of implication of Egyptian foods in these infections. We also address possible environmental risk factors that may lead to the contamination of Egyptian foods with enteric viruses. In addition, we describe potential obstacles to any plan that might be considered for improving the virological safety of Egyptian foods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-339
Number of pages25
JournalFood and Environmental Virology
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

Keywords

  • Acute gastroenteritis
  • Acute hepatitis
  • Astrovirus
  • Egyptian foods
  • Enteric viruses
  • Foodborne viral diseases
  • Hepatitis A virus
  • Hepatitis E virus
  • Human norovirus
  • Rotavirus

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Review

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