First Serological Study of Hepatitis E Virus Infection in Backyard Pigs from Serbia
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Hepatitis E virus (HEV) genotype 3 infections in pigs and humans have been lately reported in Europe. In the present study, the prevalence of anti-HEV IgG antibodies in swine was investigated, for the first time, in Serbia by means of an ELISA based on a recombinant open reading frame 2 protein of HEV genotype 3. A total of 315 serum samples from 3 to 4 months-old healthy backyard pigs, collected in 63 herds from 28 towns and villages of 4 different districts of the Vojvodina province, in the northern part of Serbia, were tested. A 34.6% (109/315) of the sera tested were positive. The prevalence of anti-HEV antibodies varied widely between municipalities (range 16.7–75.0%) and herds (range 0–100%). These data indicate that HEV infection is widespread in Serbian backyard pigs.