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Abstract zur Publikation: High HEV presence in four different wild boar populations in East and West Germany

Adlhoch C, Wolf A, Meisel H, Kaiser M, Ellerbrok H, Pauli G (2009): High HEV presence in four different wild boar populations in East and West Germany
Vet. Microbiol. 139 (3-4): 270-278. Epub 26 Jun.

Swine Hepatitis E virus (HEV) can be transmitted from pigs to humans causing hepatitis. A high prevalence of HEV in wild boar populations is reported for several European countries, but actual data for Germany are missing. During the hunting season from October to December 2007 liver, bile and blood samples were collected from wild boars in four different German regions. The samples were tested for HEV RNA by quantitative PCR (qPCR) and anti-HEV IgG antibodies by two different ELISAs and a Line immunoassay. A seroprevalence of 29.9% using ELISA and 26.2% in the Line immunoassay was determined. The seroprevalence rate varied greatly within the analysed regions. However, qPCR analysis revealed a higher prevalence of 68.2% positive animals with regional differences. Surprisingly, also adult wild sows and wild boars were highly HEV positive by qPCR. Compared to liver and serum samples, bile samples showed a higher rate of positive qPCR results. Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of a 969 nt fragment within ORF 2 revealed that all isolates clustered within genotype 3 but differed in the subtype depending on the hunting spot. Isolates clustered within genotypes 3i, 3h, 3f and 3e. Within one population HEV isolates were closely related, but social groups of animals in close proximity might be infected with different subtypes. Two full-length genomes of subtypes 3i and 3e from two different geographic regions were generated. The wild boar is discussed as one of the main sources of human autochthonous infections in Germany.

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