Association of hepatitis E virus (HEV) and postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS) with lesions of hepatitis in pigs

Vet Microbiol. 2007 May 16;122(1-2):16-24. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2006.12.020. Epub 2007 Jan 3.


The aim of the study was to determine the presence of swine hepatitis E virus (HEV) RNA and antibodies in postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome-affected (n=114) and non-affected (n=46) pigs and the possible association with hepatitis lesions. Forty-four pigs were RT-PCR positive (28.2%); 25 of them were PMWS cases, while 19 were non-PMWS pigs. In both groups, HEV RT-PCR results were associated with hepatitis (OR=5.61 for PMWS-affected pigs and OR=5.17 for non-PMWS affected pigs; p=0.01). No interaction was detected in a logistic regression between PMWS occurrence and HEV infection for the development of hepatitis lesions. Seropositivity to HEV was more likely to occur in pigs with hepatitis (51.9%) compared to pigs without hepatitis (36.1%; p=0.03). Significant differences in optical densities were notices comparing the lesional stage of pigs (p=0.009). While pigs with slight or moderate hepatitis were seropositive, pigs with more severe lesions were seronegative to HEV. These results indicate that swine HEV infection can be a significant contributor to the development of moderate hepatitis in pigs regardless of the PMWS status.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Genotype
  • Hepatitis Antibodies / isolation & purification
  • Hepatitis E virus / genetics
  • Hepatitis E virus / isolation & purification*
  • Hepatitis, Animal / complications
  • Hepatitis, Animal / virology*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver / virology
  • Phylogeny
  • Porcine Postweaning Multisystemic Wasting Syndrome / complications
  • Porcine Postweaning Multisystemic Wasting Syndrome / virology*
  • RNA, Viral / isolation & purification
  • Swine


  • Hepatitis Antibodies
  • RNA, Viral