Prevalence of Anti-Hepatitis E Virus Antibodies and First Detection of Hepatitis E Virus in Wild Boar in Slovenia

Žele, Diana; Fernandes Barry, Aline; Honing-Hakze, Renate van der; Vengušt, Gorazd; Poel, W.H.M. Van Der


Hepatitis E is an emerging zoonotic disease caused by hepatitis E virus (HEV). In this study, we investigated HEV presence in a wild boar (Sus scrofa) population of Slovenia. A total of 288 wild boar serum samples were collected throughout the country, and HEV infection was investigated by serology, using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and by HEV RNA detection using a real-time PCR assay. Antibodies against HEV were detected in 30.2% (87/288) of animals tested, whereas HEV RNA was detected in only one sample. This is the first evidence of HEV presence in the wild boar population in Slovenia, and these results suggest that these animals are part of the HEV epidemiological cycle in the country.