Title:Serological investigation on the prevalence of hepatitis E virus infection in food-producing animals
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a non-enveloped, positive single stranded RNA virus classified into the Hepeviridae family. The HEV-3 and HEV-4 genotypes of Orthohepevirus A can infect both animals and human. The infection in animals is asymptomatic and spreads by faecal-oral route. The main reservoir animals are domestic swine, wild boar, wild ruminants and rabbit. Humans get infected through contact with virus-shedding animals or their manure and not-well-heat-treated meat. Our aim was to survey domestic swine and rabbit farms as well as to test wild boar, hare and goat samples by ELISA in order to recognise the occurrence of the virus in populations of species proven or suspected to be reservoir of HEV and – based on the “from farm to fork” approach – investigate the veterinary public health significance and the epidemiology of HEV in food-producing animals.