Hepatitis E Virus in Domestic Pigs, Wild Boars, Pig Farm Workers, and Hunters in Estonia
2015 (English)In: Food and Environmnetal Virology, ISSN 1867-0334, E-ISSN 1867-0342, Vol. 7, no 4, 403-412 p.Article in journal (Refereed) PublishedText
While hepatitis E is a growing health concern in Europe, epidemiological data on hepatitis E virus (HEV) in Estonia are scarce. Along with imported HEV infections, autochthonous cases are reported from European countries. Both domestic and wild animals can be a source of human cases of this zoonosis. Here, we investigated the presence of anti-HEV antibodies and HEV RNA in domestic pigs and wild boars, as well as in pig farm workers and hunters in Estonia. Anti-HEV antibodies were detected in 234/380 (61.6 %) of sera from domestic pigs and in all investigated herds, and in 81/471 (17.2 %) of meat juice samples from wild boars. HEV RNA was detected by real-time PCR in 103/449 (22.9 %) of fecal samples from younger domestic pigs and 13/81 (16.0 %) of anti-HEV-positive wild boar samples. Analysis of sera from 67 pig farm workers and 144 hunters revealed the presence of HEV-specific IgG in 13.4 and 4.2 % of the samples, respectively. No HEV RNA was detected in the human serum samples. Phylogenetic analyses of HEV sequences from domestic pigs and wild boars, based on a 245 bp fragment from the open reading frame 2 showed that all of them belonged to genotype 3. The present study demonstrates the presence of HEV in Estonian domestic pig and wild boar populations, as well as in humans who have direct regular contact with these animals. Our results suggest that HEV infections are present in Estonia and require attention.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 7, no 4, 403-412 p.
Zoonosis, Hepatitis E virus, RNA, Seroprevalence
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-270429DOI: 10.1007/s12560-015-9210-8ISI: 000365031000012PubMedID: 26141050OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-270429DiVA: diva2:901605