Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Susceptibility of pigs to zoonotic hepatitis E virus genotype 3 isolated from a wild boar.

Abstract

In Europe, zoonotic hepatitis E virus (HEV) genotype 3 strains mainly circulate in humans, swine and wild boar. The aim of this study was to investigate the potential transmission of a wild boar originating HEV strain (WbHEV) to swine by intravenous or oral inoculation and to study the consequences of infection of a WbHEV strain, a WbHEV strain previously passaged in a pig and a swine HEV strain after oral inoculation. Firstly, an intravenous infection was performed for which five piglets were divided into two groups with three pigs inoculated with a WbHEV field strain and two pigs inoculated with a HEV-negative swine liver homogenate. All pigs were necropsied 8, 9 and 10 days post-inoculation. Secondly, an oral infection of 56 days was performed on 12 piglets divided into four groups inoculated with a WbHEV strain, a WbHEV strain previously passaged in swine, a swine HEV strain or a HEV-negative swine liver homogenate. After intravenous inoculation, HEV RNA was detected in serum, bile, liver, spleen, duodenum, jejunum, colon, lung, gastro-hepatic lymph nodes and faeces in all infected piglets. After oral inoculation, HEV RNA was detected in serum, bile, liver, gastro-hepatic lymph nodes and faeces. Most of HEV-inoculated pigs became seropositive at day 15. This study provides experimental evidence of early viral spread throughout the organism after intravenous infection with a WbHEV strain and supports the notion that such a zoonotic strain could be transmitted via the natural faecal-oral route of infection between wild boar and pigs but also between pigs.