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. 2019 Jul 26;16(15):2679.
doi: 10.3390/ijerph16152679.

Evaluation of HBV-Like Circulation in Wild and Farm Animals From Brazil and Uruguay

Free PMC article

Evaluation of HBV-Like Circulation in Wild and Farm Animals From Brazil and Uruguay

Yasmine R Vieira et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. .
Free PMC article


The origin of the hepatitis B virus is a subject of wide deliberation among researchers. As a result, increasing academic interest has focused on the spread of the virus in different animal species. However, the sources of viral infection for many of these animals are unknown since transmission may occur from animal to animal, human to human, animal to human, and human to animal. The aim of this study was to evaluate hepadnavirus circulation in wild and farm animals (including animals raised under wild or free conditions) from different sites in Brazil and Uruguay using serological and molecular tools. A total of 487 domestic wild and farm animals were screened for hepatitis B virus (HBV) serological markers and tested via quantitative and qualitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect viral DNA. We report evidence of HBsAg (surface antigen of HBV) and total anti-HBc (HBV core antigen) markers as well as low-copy hepadnavirus DNA among domestic and wild animals. According to our results, which were confirmed by partial genome sequencing, as the proximity between humans and animals increases, the potential for pathogen dispersal also increases. A wider knowledge and understanding of reverse zoonoses should be sought for an effective One Health response.

Keywords: animal infectious diseases; disease impact; hepadnavirus; real-time PCR; reverse zoonoses.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Collection sites of animals in the present study.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg) reactivity of the serum samples in domestic and wild animals from Brazil and Uruguay. The dotted line corresponds to the cut-off line of the analysis, with reactive samples for the HBsAg marker shown above the dotted line and non-reactive samples for the same marker shown below the dotted line. A statistical analysis between groups was conducted in accordance with the Kruskal–Wallis test (95% confidence intervals). The Sus scrofa group corresponds to domestic pigs, wild boars, and wild pigs. The wild carnivores group corresponds to jaguar (Panthera onca), crab-eating foxes (Cerdocyon thous), maned wolves (Chrysocyon brachyurus), crab-eating raccoons (Procyon cancrivorus), and hoary foxes (Lycalopex vetulus). OD/CO = absorbance value (optical density)/cut-off ratio. p*** corresponds to p values less than 0.001.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Phylogenetic relations based on the fragment of the pre-S/S gene of hepadnaviruses (1125 nt) using maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian methods. For each sequence used, the GenBank accession number and host are shown. The tree was rooted at the midpoint. Numbers (≥0.7/≥70) above the branches indicate node probabilities or bootstrap values (MrBayes/ML). Asterisks indicate values below 0.7/70. The sequences of this study are highlighted in bold. The scale bar indicates the evolutionary distance.

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