Volume 78, Issue 6
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


The aim of this work was to study the prevalence of hepatitis E virus (HEV) and the risk factors for the acquisition of the virus in a population in contact with swine and unexposed to swine. A total of 198 individuals, 97 unexposed (49%) and 101 exposed (51%) to swine, were tested for the presence of HEV infection. The prevalence of anti-HEV IgG in the exposed group was 18.8% versus 4.1% in the unexposed to swine group. People exposed to swine were observed to be 5.4 times ( = 0.03) at risk of having anti-HEV IgG. Ten (52.6%) of the IgG-positive individuals showed two concomitant risk factors: untreated water consumption and exposure to swine. These data support that HEV infection should be treated as a vocational illness in swine workers. Therefore, systematic application of hygiene measures in this collective is highly recommended to avoid the exposition to this virus.


Article metrics loading...

The graphs shown below represent data from March 2017
Loading full text...

Full text loading...



  1. Perez-Gracia MT, Rodriguez-Iglesias M, 2003. [Hepatitis E virus: current status]. Med Clin (Barc) 121 : 787–792. [Google Scholar]
  2. Schlauder GG, Dawson GJ, Erker JC, Kwo PY, Knigge MF, Smalley DL, Rosenblatt JE, Desai SM, Mushahwar IK, 1998. The sequence and phylogenetic analysis of a novel hepatitis E virus isolated from a patient with acute hepatitis reported in the United States. J Gen Virol 79 : 447–456. [Google Scholar]
  3. Meng XJ, Halbur PG, Shapiro MS, Govindarajan S, Bruna JD, Mushahwar IK, Purcell RH, Emerson SU, 1998. Genetic and experimental evidence for cross-species infection by swine hepatitis E virus. J Virol 72 : 9714–9721. [Google Scholar]
  4. Aggarwal R, Krawczynski K, 2000. Hepatitis E: an overview and recent advances in clinical and laboratory research. J Gastroenterol Hepatol 15 : 9–20. [Google Scholar]
  5. Perez-Gracia MT, Garcia-Valdivia MS, Galan F, Rodriguez-Iglesias MA, 2004. Detection of hepatitis E virus in patients sera in southern Spain. Acta Virol 48 : 197–200. [Google Scholar]
  6. Meng XJ, Wiseman B, Elvinger F, Guenette DK, Toth TE, Engle RE, Emerson SU, Purcell RH, 2002. Prevalence of antibodies to hepatitis E virus in veterinarians working with swine and in normal blood donors in the United States and other countries. J Clin Microbiol 40 : 117–122. [Google Scholar]
  7. Withers MR, Correa MT, Morrow M, Stebbins ME, Seriwatana J, Webster WD, Boak MB, Vaughn DW, 2002. Antibody levels to hepatitis E virus in North Carolina swine workers, non-swine workers, swine, and murids. Am J Trop Med Hyg 66 : 384–388. [Google Scholar]
  8. Bouwknegt M, Engel B, Herremans MM, Widdowson MA, Worm HC, Koopmans MP, Frankena K, Husman AM, De Jong MC, Der Poel WH, 2007. Bayesian estimation of hepatitis E virus seroprevalence for populations with different exposure levels to swine in The Netherlands. Epidemiol Infect 136 : 1–10. [Google Scholar]
  9. Drobeniuc J, Favorov MO, Shapiro CN, Bell BP, Mast EE, Dadu A, Culver D, Iarovoi P, Robertson BH, Margolis HS, 2001. Hepatitis E virus antibody prevalence among persons who work with swine. J Infect Dis 184 : 1594–1597. [Google Scholar]
  10. Hsieh SY, Meng XJ, Wu YH, Liu ST, Tam AW, Lin DY, Liaw YF, 1999. Identity of a novel swine hepatitis E virus in Taiwan forming a monophyletic group with Taiwan isolates of human hepatitis E virus. J Clin Microbiol 37 : 3828–3834. [Google Scholar]
  11. Olsen B, Axelsson-Olsson D, Thelin A, Weiland O, 2006. Unexpected high prevalence of IgG-antibodies to hepatitis E virus in Swedish pig farmers and controls. Scand J Infect Dis 38 : 55–58. [Google Scholar]
  12. Vulcano A, Angelucci M, Candelori E, Martini V, Patti AM, 2007. HEV prevalence in the general population and among workers at zoonotic risk in Latium Region. Ann Ig 19 : 181–186. [Google Scholar]
  13. Huang FF, Haqshenas G, Guenette DK, Halbur PG, Schommer SK, Pierson FW, Toth TE, Meng XJ, 2002. Detection by reverse transcription-PCR and genetic characterization of field isolates of swine hepatitis E virus from pigs in different geographic regions of the United States. J Clin Microbiol 40 : 1326–1332. [Google Scholar]
  14. Fernandez-Barredo S, Galiana C, Garcia A, Vega S, Gomez MT, Perez-Gracia MT, 2006. Detection of hepatitis E virus shedding in feces of pigs at different stages of production using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. J Vet Diagn Invest 18 : 462–465. [Google Scholar]
  15. Amon JJ, Drobeniuc J, Bower WA, Magana JC, Escobedo MA, Williams IT, Bell BP, Armstrong GL, 2006. Locally acquired hepatitis E virus infection, El Paso, Texas. J Med Virol 78 : 741–746. [Google Scholar]
  16. Perez-Gracia MT, Mateos ML, Galiana C, Fernández-Barredo S, García A, Goméz MT, Moreira V, 2007. Autochthonous hepatitis E infection in a slaughterhouse worker. Am J Trop Med Hyg 77 : 893–896. [Google Scholar]
  17. Mizuo H, Yazaki Y, Sugawara K, Tsuda F, Takahashi M, Nishizawa T, Okamoto H, 2005. Possible risk factors for the transmission of hepatitis E virus and for the severe form of hepatitis E acquired locally in Hokkaido, Japan. J Med Virol 76 : 341–349. [Google Scholar]
  18. Fernandez-Barredo S, Galiana C, Garcia A, Gomez-Munoz MT, Vega S, Rodriguez-Iglesias MA, Perez-Gracia MT, 2007. Prevalence and genetic characterization of hepatitis E virus in paired samples of feces and serum from naturally infected pigs. Can J Vet Res 71 : 236–240. [Google Scholar]
  19. Dalton HR, Thurairajah PH, Fellows HJ, Hussaini HS, Mitchell J, Bendall R, Banks M, Ijaz S, Teo CG, Levine DF, 2007. Autochthonous hepatitis E in southwest England. J Viral Hepat 14 : 304–309. [Google Scholar]
  20. Herremans M, Bakker J, Duizer E, Vennema H, Koopmans MP, 2007. Use of serological assays for diagnosis of hepatitis E virus genotype 1 and 3 infections in a setting of low endemicity. Clin Vaccine Immunol 14 : 562–568. [Google Scholar]
  21. Gessoni G, Manoni F, 1996. Hepatitis E virus infection in northeast Italy: serological study in the open population and groups at risk. J Viral Hepat 3 : 197–202. [Google Scholar]
  22. Boutrouille A, Bakkali-Kassimi L, Cruciere C, Pavio N, 2007. Prevalence of anti-hepatitis E virus antibodies in French blood donors. J Clin Microbiol 45 : 2009–2010. [Google Scholar]
  23. Dalton HR, Fellows HJ, Gane EJ, Wong P, Gerred S, Schroeder B, Croxson MC, Garkavenko O, 2007. Hepatitis E in New Zealand. J Gastroenterol Hepatol 22 : 1236–1240. [Google Scholar]
  24. Bortoliero AL, Bonametti AM, Morimoto HK, Matsuo T, Reiche EM, 2006. Seroprevalence for hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection among volunteer blood donors of the Regional Blood Bank of Londrina, State of Parana, Brazil. Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo 48 : 87–92. [Google Scholar]
  25. Mateos ML, Camarero C, Lasa E, Teruel JL, Mir N, Baquero F, 1998. Hepatitis E virus: relevance in blood donors and other risk groups. Vox Sang 75 : 267–269. [Google Scholar]
  26. Buti M, Dominguez A, Plans P, Jardi R, Schaper M, Espunes J, Cardenosa N, Rodriguez-Frias F, Esteban R, Plasencia A, Salleras L, 2006. Community-based seroepidemiological survey of hepatitis E virus infection in Catalonia, Spain. Clin Vaccine Immunol 13 : 1328–1332. [Google Scholar]
  27. Boxall E, Herborn A, Kochethu G, Pratt G, Adams D, Ijaz S, Teo CG, 2006. Transfusion-transmitted hepatitis E in a nonhyper- ‘ endemic’ country. Transfusion Med 16 : 79–83. [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Received : 16 Oct 2007
  • Accepted : 03 Jan 2008

Most Cited This Month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error