Detection and Characterization of Hepatitis E Virus in Domestic Pigs of Different Ages in Portugal

Berto, A.; Mesquita, J.R.; Hakze-van der Honing, R.W. van der; Nascimento, R.S.; Poel, W.H.M. van der


This study represents the primary hepatitis E virus (HEV) surveillance in domestic pigs in Portugal, five pig farms were investigated in 5 different Portuguese regions, ten faecal samples were collected at four different stages of the production. All faecal samples were tested for hepatitis E virus by real-time RT-PCR. At least one sample from each farms of all age groups tested positive for HEV. The prevalence in the pig herds varied from 10% to 30% and the mean prevalence was 32% in weaners, 20% in growers, 32% in fatteners and 4% in adult dry sows. Phylogenetic analysis of the detected HEV sequences indicated that the circulating virus strains belong under the genotype 3.