To investigate the nationwide prevalence of hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection and to characterize HEV genomes among Japanese wild boars ( Sus scrofa leucomystax ), 578 boars captured in 25 prefectures from 2003 to 2010 were studied. Anti-HEV IgG was detected in 8.1%, and HEV RNA in 3.3% of boars. Among the 19 boar HEV isolates obtained from infected boars, 14 isolates (74%) were classified as genotype 3, 4 isolates (21%) as genotype 4, and the remaining isolate (wbJOY_06) was distantly related to all known HEV isolates of genotypes 1-4, differing by 18.4-25.0% and 18.0-24.3% within the 412-nucleotide sequence of ORF1 and ORF2, respectively. A genotype 4 boar HEV isolate (wbJGF_08-1) obtained herein shared 98.6% identity over the entire genome with a human HEV isolate obtained from a patient who developed acute hepatitis after consuming undercooked wild boar meat, suggesting that wild boars are also reservoirs for genotype 4 HEV in humans.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 1, 2011
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