Full-length sequence of genotype 3 hepatitis E virus derived from a pig in Thailand.J Med Virol. 2009 Apr; 81(4):657-64.JM
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection in pigs was investigated in two principal swine farming areas in Thailand. Anti-HEV antibodies and HEV RNA in sera were examined in 258 pigs reared on five commercial farms from age 1 to 6.5 months and sows. Overall, 167 of 258 (64.7%) pigs were positive for anti-HEV IgG, while 20 of 258 (7.75%) had detectable HEV RNA. Sequence analysis of 20 HEV isolates obtained from viremic pigs revealed that they were 92.3-100% identical to each other and had 82.2-88.2% nucleotide similarity to other reported genotype 3 isolates in 415 nucleotide sequences within ORF2 region. Further characterization by sequencing the complete genome of the Thai swine HEV isolate (named Thai-swHEV07) and phylogenetic analysis showed that Thai-swHEV07 segregated into a cluster consisting of swine isolates from Japan, Mongolia, and Kyrgyzstan within the HEV genotype 3. The Thai-swHEV07 had a genomic length of 7,229 nt excluding the polyadenylated region at 3' terminus of the genome. Comparison of Thai-swHEV07 and 27 reported strains of genotype 3 revealed 80.4-85.9% nucleotide identity, with the highest identity of 85.9% to the novel swHEV strain from Mongolia. These findings suggest that genotype 3 HEV isolates are markedly heterogeneous.