The prevalence of anti-HEV isotype-specific antibodies and viraemia were investigated in serum samples collected from slaughter-age pigs (aged 22-24 weeks) from 23 farms in Scotland. Of 176 serum samples tested, 29·0% (n = 51) were anti-HEV IgG positive, 36·9% (n = 65) anti-HEV IgA positive and 29·0% (n = 51) anti-HEV IgM positive. Overall seroprevalence (anti-HEV IgG+ and/or IgA+ and/or IgM+) was 61·4% (n = 108). HEV RNA was detected in 72/162 serum samples (44·4%). Partial sequence of ORF2 (98 nt) was obtained from eight HEV RNA-positive samples and phylogenetic analysis confirmed that they were all of genotype 3. This is the first report on the prevalence of HEV in pigs in Scotland. Given the increasing incidence of locally acquired HEV infection in the UK, evidence that HEV is a foodborne zoonosis emphasizes the need for surveillance in pigs.
- hepatitis E