Identification of genotype 4 hepatitis E virus strains from a patient with acute hepatitis E and farm pigs in Bali, Indonesia.J Med Virol. 2007 Aug; 79(8):1138-46.JM
A previous study revealed that antibodies to hepatitis E virus (HEV) (anti-HEV) are highly prevalent among healthy individuals and farm pigs in Bali, Indonesia, and suggested that HEV infection may occur via zoonosis among Balinese people. However, there were no reports of acute hepatitis E in Bali. To elucidate whether Balinese HEV strains recovered from infected humans and pigs have significant sequence similarity, serum samples obtained from 57 patients (age, mean +/- standard deviation, 31.1 +/- 11.9 years) with sporadic acute hepatitis and from one hundred and one 2- or 3-month-old farm pigs in Bali were tested for anti-HEV and HEV RNA. Among the 57 patients, 2 (3.5%) had high-titer IgM/IgA class anti-HEV antibodies and one of them had detectable HEV RNA (BaliE03-46). Overall, 58 pigs (57.4%) tested positive for anti-HEV, while 5 pigs (5.0%) had detectable HEV RNA. Based on the 412-nucleotide sequence within open reading frame 2, the BaliE03-46 isolate and the 5 swine HEV isolates recovered from the viremic pigs were phylogenetically classified in genotype 4, but were only 77.3-90.8% identical to the genotype 4 HEV isolates reported thus far in China, India, Japan, Taiwan, and Vietnam. The BaliE03-46 isolate of human origin shared high identities of 97.3-98.3% with 4 of the 5 Balinese swine isolates, but differed by 16.1% from the remaining swine isolate. These results suggest that indigenous HEV strains of genotype 4 with marked heterogeneity are circulating in Bali, Indonesia, and that pigs are reservoirs of HEV for Balinese people who have a habit of ingesting uncooked pigs.