The prevalence of hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection in wild boars and pigs in Gunma Prefecture, Japan, was serologically and genetically examined. The positive detection rates of anti-HEV IgG and HEV RNA in the wild boars were 4.5% (4/89) and 1.1% (1/89), whereas those in the pigs were 74.6% (126/169) and 1.8% (3/169), respectively. The positive rates of anti-HEV IgG and HEV RNA on the 17 pig farms in the present study ranged from 20% to 100%, respectively. One male wild boar approximately 5 years of age was positive for HEV RNA but was negative for anti-HEV IgG. Three pigs from 2 farms were positive for HEV RNA; 2 of these pigs were negative for HEV IgG, and the other was positive. A phylogenetic analysis revealed that all of the HEV ORF1 genes detected in the present study belonged to genotype III. In Gunma Prefecture, HEV is highly prevalent and widespread, and uncooked wild boar and pig meat may have the potential to transmit HEV to humans.
Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 02/2009; 71(1):21-5. DOI:10.1292/jvms.71.21 · 0.88 Impact Factor