Hepatitis E virus infection of slaughtered healthy pigs in Brazil.
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is an emerging pathogen that can be transmitted through contaminated raw or undercooked meat derived from domestic pigs. HEV infections have been documented among pig herds, pig products and environmental samples raising concern about the spread of the virus. HEV genotypes 3 and 4 are considered zoonotic and have been linked to human cases. HEV was detected in 51 of 335 bile samples (15.2%) from healthy pigs in Minas Gerais, Brazil. Phylogenetic analysis of partial sequences from ORF1 and ORF2 regions yielded discordant results, assigning isolates to subtypes 3c and 3i, respectively, suggesting intragenotypic HEV recombination.