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Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz
Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz
ISSN: 1678-8060
EISSN: 1678-8060
Vol. 100, No. 2, 2005, pp. 117-122
Bioline Code: oc05058
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Vol. 100, No. 2, 2005, pp. 117-122

 en Serological evidence of hepatitis E virus infection in different animal species from the Southeast of Brazil
Cláudia L Vitral; Marcelo A Pinto; Lia L Lewis-Ximenez; Yuri E Khudyakov; Débora R dos Santos & Ana Maria C Gaspar

Abstract

Serological evidence of hepatitis E virus infection (HEV) has been observed in both humans and different animal species living in non-endemic areas, suggesting that animals could be important reservoir for virus transmission to man. Antibodies to HEV have been detected in some Brazilian population groups. Nevertheless, sporadic cases of acute HEV infection have never been reported. We collected 271 serum samples from several domestic animals and also from pig handlers from Southeast of Brazil in order to investigate the seroprevalence of HEV infection. Anti-HEV IgG was detected in cows (1.42%), dogs (6.97%), chickens (20%), swines (24.3%), and rodents (50%), as well as in pig handlers (6.3%). The recognition of swine HEV infections in pigs in many countries of the world led us to investigate a larger sample of pigs (n = 357) from the same Brazilian region with ages ranging from 1 to > 25 weeks. IgG anti-HEV was detected in 100% of 7-day old pigs. Following a gradual decline between weeks 2 and 8 (probably due to loss of maternal IgG), the prevalence then steady increased until it reached 97.3% of animals older than 25 weeks. Besides the detection of anti-HEV antibodies in different animal species, the results showed that swine HEV infection seems to be almost universal within this Brazilian pig population. This is the first report that shows evidences of HEV circulation in Brazilian animal species and pig handlers.

Keywords
anti-hepatitis E virus - animal reservoir - swine - Brazil

 
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