Hepatitis E (HEV) belongs to one of fi ve so far described types of viral hepatitis caused by human agents (hepatitis A, B, C, D and E). The disease is characterized by clinical and epidemiological signs of acute hepatitis and is transmitted primarily by fecal-oral route via contaminated food and water. The infection is mainly detected in the developing countries of the Middle East, Asia and Africa, especially in countries with poor sanitary conditions of life. HEV infection in pigs was fi rst recorded in 1990. Numerous studies that followed proved that HEV can skip species barrier and can be transmitted from pigs to humans. HEV has been demonstrated as a new zoonotic agent. Hepatitis E virus has infected people in Japan who consumed insuffi ciently cooked meat of deer, pig liver and meat of wild boar. In humans four genotypes have been determined: I, II, III and IV, while so far tested swine isolates belong to genotypes III and IV. It is also important to note that the swine HEV isolates from one geographical region are genetically closer to human isolates from the same area than to the other isolates from pigs in the world. Th e aim of this paper is to show whether and how much HEV infection is present in the population of wild boars in Serbia, which represent a reservoir of this disease caused by a signifi cant zoonotic agent. Preliminary serological tests included the examination of 92 blood serum samples of wild boars. In 32 animals, or 34.78%, the presence of specifi c antibodies against HEV genotype was detected. Th e blood samples were collected during 2009, 2010 and 2011 from 15 hunting sites in Serbia. Laboratory testing was performed by non-commercial ELISA (in-house ELISA), where the used antigen was recombinant capsid protein-HEV genotype 3 ΔORF 2, which was obtained by laboratory cloning procedure. The test results showed that the hepatitis E virus is present in wild boars in Vojvodina, that are a potential source of this infection, as well as for many other infections of diferrent etiology.
Arhives of Veterinary Medicine is an Open Access Journal.