Molecular features of hepatitis E virus from farmed rabbits in Shandong province, China

Hongna Zhang, Yufa Zhou, Jingbo Liu

Abstract

This study was undertaken to investigate the genetic variability of hepatitis E virus (HEV) from farmed rabbits in Shandong province, China. A total of 50 fresh faecal samples from 5 rabbit farms were collected and subjected to reverse transcription and nested polymerase chain reaction (RT-nPCR) for a fragment sequence of HEV capsid gene. The results demonstrated that HEV RNA was observed in 6 faecal samples (6/50, 12.0%). In addition, the result of phylogenetic analysis showed that the 6 HEV isolates were classified into HEV-3 genotype with other rabbit HEV isolates from other countries, and shared 85.2-87.2%, 81.5-83.1%, and 77.0-78.6% nucleotide similarities with rabbit HEV isolates from Korea, the United States and France, respectively. To sum up, the HEV isolated in this study from farmed rabbits belongs to the HEV-3 genotype, and the zoonotic ability and pathogenesis of the rabbit HEV merit further study due to the fact that HEV-3 genotype has the potential to trigger zoonotic infections.


Keywords

HEV; farmed rabbit; RT-nPCR; phylogenetic analysis; nucleotide identity

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References

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