A novel virus of pigs, swine hepatitis E virus (swine HEV), was recently identified and shown to be antigenically and genetically related to human HEV. In the present study, we attempted to infect specific-pathogen-free (SPF) pigs experimentally with swine HEV or with human strains of HEV. Serum samples collected from naturally infected pigs were used as the source of swine HEV. Pigs inoculated intravenously with serum samples containing swine HEV seroconverted to anti-HEV 4 to 8 weeks postinoculation, and the virus spread to an uninoculated pig. Swine HEV was detected in nasal and rectal swab materials as early as 2 weeks postinoculation and for 4 to 8 weeks thereafter. Viremia appeared 4 to 6 weeks postinoculation and lasted 1 to 3 weeks. The inoculated pigs appeared clinically normal and serum liver enzymes were not significantly elevated. In contrast, pigs were not infected when inoculated intravenously with about 10 5 monkey infectious doses of one of two human strains of HEV (Sar-55 or Mex-14).
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 1, 1998
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