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Molecular and serological survey of hepatitis E virus infection among domestic pigs in Inner Mongolia, China

Jinshan, Jirintai, Manglai, Dugarjavin, Takahashi, Masaharu, Nagashima, Shigeo, Okamoto, Hiroaki
Archives of virology 2010 v.155 no.8 pp. 1217-1226
Orthohepevirus A, serological surveys, humans, antibodies, farms, genotype, RNA, swine, Mongolia, China
To evaluate the prevalence and characteristics of swine hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection in Inner Mongolia, China, serum samples obtained from 356 2- to 4-month-old pigs on 14 farms in Inner Mongolia were tested for the presence of anti-HEV antibodies and HEV RNA. Overall, 186 pigs (52%) tested positive for anti-HEV antibodies, while 30 pigs (8%) had detectable HEV RNA levels. The 30 HEV isolates recovered from the viremic pigs were phylogenetically classified into genotype 4 and differed from each other by up to 15.3% in a 412 nt sequence within ORF2. The Inner Mongolian swine HEV strains were most similar to human or swine HEV strains isolated in the other provinces of China but differed by 15.9-18.9% from those in Mongolia (formerly known as Outer Mongolia). These results indicate that farm pigs in Inner Mongolia are frequently infected with markedly divergent genotype 4 HEV strains that may be indigenous to China.