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, 36 (3), 417-25

Human and Swine Hepatitis E Viruses From Western India Belong to Different Genotypes

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Human and Swine Hepatitis E Viruses From Western India Belong to Different Genotypes

Vidya A Arankalle et al. J Hepatol.

Abstract

Background/aims: Hepatitis E is endemic in India. Earlier, we showed prevalence of IgG antibodies to hepatitis E virus (IgG-anti-HEV) in different animal species and inability of at least one human hepatitis E virus (HEV) strain to infect pigs. In the US where hepatitis E is not endemic in humans, zoonotic spread of HEV was suspected as swine and human HEV were closely related and cross-species infection was documented. The present study attempts to identify and partially characterize swine HEV from India.

Methods: Serum samples from 284 pigs were screened for the presence of HEV-RNA (nested polymerase chain reaction; PCR) and IgG-anti-HEV (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; ELISA). PCR products (Open Reading Frame-2 region) were sequenced and subjected to phylogenetic analysis. Two sero-negative pigs were inoculated with swine HEV-positive serum pool.

Results: ELISA and PCR positivity were 42.9 and 4.6%, respectively. All Indian swine HEV sequences clustered with genotype IV. Pigs could be experimentally infected with swine HEV.

Conclusions: Swine HEV circulates in Indian pigs. In contrast to US and Taiwan wherein both human and swine HEV isolates belong to same genotype, Indian human HEV isolates belong to genotype I whereas genotype IV circulates in swine. Though experimental infection with Indian swine HEV was possible, at least one human HEV strain could not infect pigs.

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