A longitudinal study revealing hepatitis E virus infection and transmission at a swine test station.Res Vet Sci. 2013 Dec; 95(3):1255-61.RV
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a zoonotic agent that causes acute hepatitis in humans, and infects several animal species, most importantly swine. In the current study, that presents the first evidence of HEV infections in pigs in Finland, genetic divergence and transmission of HEV was investigated among pigs at a swine test station at two occasions. In 2007, HEV RNA was found in 25% of pens, and 35% of 2-3 month-old pigs at the station. Three different isolates, comprising 13 sequences of HEV genotype 3 e that were imported from different farms were detected. In 2010, 39% of pigs were HEV RNA positive on weeks 1, 3, or 5 of a 3-month follow-up, and 11 sequences, all representing one of the isolates that was also present in 2007, were detected. The isolate was considered to be either re-introduced to, or to persist at the station, and it was transmitted between the pigs. The study sheds light on the rate and time of HEV transmission in swine, and describes the epidemiologic variability of HEV isolates over time.