Prevalence of hepatitis E virus antibodies in ...

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Title Prevalence of hepatitis E virus antibodies in Canadian swine herds and identification of a novel variant of swine hepatitis E virus
Author(s) D. Yoo, P. Willson, Y. Pei, M. A. Hayes, A. Deckert, C. E. Dewey, R. M. Friendship, Y. Yoon, M. Gottschalk, Carmencita V. Yason, A. Giulivi
Journal Clinical and Diagnostic Laboratory Immunology
Date 2001
Volume 8
Issue 6
Start page 1213
End page 1219
Abstract Swine hepatitis E virus is a newly identified potentially zoonotic virus from pigs of particular concern for possible direct transmission to a human xenotransplant recipient by organ transplantation. In the present study, prevalence of serum antibodies to hepatitis E virus was examined in Canadian swine herds. A total of 998 serum samples collected from 6-month-old healthy slaughter hogs were examined by enzyme immunoassay and Western blot analysis for antibodies to the recombinant open reading frame 3 (ORF3) protein of hepatitis E virus expressed in Escherichia coli. These samples represented more than 80 different swine production units from five major swine-producing provinces across Canada. From this study, 594 samples (59.4%) were found to be positive for hepatitis E virus antibody. The seroprevalence was higher in Quebec (88.8%) and Ontario (80.1%) than in Alberta and Saskatchewan (38.3%). By PCR using a pair of oligonucleotide primers deduced from the ORF2 sequence of human hepatitis E virus, a specific hepatitis E virus sequence was recovered from feces of pigs. The nucleotide sequence identity between the U.S. swine hepatitis E virus and the Canadian isolate (SK3) was only 85.8%, suggesting that genotypic variations may exist in swine hepatitis E virus in North America. Among 165 serum samples collected from humans in Saskatchewan, 2.4% were found to be positive for antibodies to the hepatitis E virus ORF3 protein. Our data indicate that hepatitis E virus is highly prevalent in commercial swine populations in Canada and support the suggestion that the swine hepatitis E virus may be an important zoonotic agent for humans.
DOI 10.1128/CDLI.8.6.1213-1219.2001

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