Hepatitis E is an infectious disease that in humans shows clinical and morphological features of acute hepatitis. It represents an important public health problem in developing countries, where it can cause large epidemic outbreaks. In recent years, a number of sporadic cases have also been described in industrialized countries, Italy included. Increasing evidence supports the hypothesis that Hepatitis E is to be regarded to as an emerging zoonotic viral infection, and that pigs are a major animal reservoir of the virus. Recently, cases of Hepatitis E have been also described by consuming of undercooked meat. During 2006, we performed a study to evaluate the presence of Hepatitis E virus (HEV) in swine analyzing 274 fecal samples from healthy pigs. A mean prevalence of 42% HEV positive stools confirmed a wide presence of sub-clinical infection also in Italian farms. Based on our previous evidence, in 2008-2009 we conducted an investigation to identify the presence of swine HEV within a slaughterhouse located in Northern Italy. To this purpose, stools, bile and sera were collected from 48 animals. Detection of virus was performed using nested-RT-PCR protocols targeting the ORF2 region. Eighteen stools and six bile samples resulted positive for viral genomic RNA amplification, yielding an overall prevalence of 47%. Results of sequence analysis confirmed the presence of HEV strains belonging to genotype 3, which has been previously reported in both swine and humans also in Europe. Western Blotting experiments, conducted using a recombinant capsid protein from an italian swine HEV strain as antigen for capture of specific serum antibody also confirmed high level of seroprevalence (48%) in swine investigated.

Detection of Hepatitis E virus in pigs at a slaughterhouse in Italy

OSTANELLO, FABIO;
2009

Abstract

Hepatitis E is an infectious disease that in humans shows clinical and morphological features of acute hepatitis. It represents an important public health problem in developing countries, where it can cause large epidemic outbreaks. In recent years, a number of sporadic cases have also been described in industrialized countries, Italy included. Increasing evidence supports the hypothesis that Hepatitis E is to be regarded to as an emerging zoonotic viral infection, and that pigs are a major animal reservoir of the virus. Recently, cases of Hepatitis E have been also described by consuming of undercooked meat. During 2006, we performed a study to evaluate the presence of Hepatitis E virus (HEV) in swine analyzing 274 fecal samples from healthy pigs. A mean prevalence of 42% HEV positive stools confirmed a wide presence of sub-clinical infection also in Italian farms. Based on our previous evidence, in 2008-2009 we conducted an investigation to identify the presence of swine HEV within a slaughterhouse located in Northern Italy. To this purpose, stools, bile and sera were collected from 48 animals. Detection of virus was performed using nested-RT-PCR protocols targeting the ORF2 region. Eighteen stools and six bile samples resulted positive for viral genomic RNA amplification, yielding an overall prevalence of 47%. Results of sequence analysis confirmed the presence of HEV strains belonging to genotype 3, which has been previously reported in both swine and humans also in Europe. Western Blotting experiments, conducted using a recombinant capsid protein from an italian swine HEV strain as antigen for capture of specific serum antibody also confirmed high level of seroprevalence (48%) in swine investigated.
Proceeding of 9th National Congress of the Italian Society of Virology
43
43
Di Bartolo I.; Castellini L.; Ponterio E.; Ostanello F.; Ruggeri F.M.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/78135
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