A nationwide survey of hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection in wild boars in Japan: identification of boar HEV strains of genotypes 3 and 4 and unrecognized genotypes
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- Sato, Y., Sato, H., Naka, K. et al. Arch Virol (2011) 156: 1345. doi:10.1007/s00705-011-0988-x
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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.