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


  • Hongna Zhang Hebei University of Economics and Business
  • Yufa Zhou Center for Disease Control, Daiyue Bureau of Animal Husbandry
  • Jingbo Liu Institute of Microbiology Research, Baolai-Leelai Bio-Tech. Ltd.



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


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.


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Author Biography

Hongna Zhang, Hebei University of Economics and Business

Department of Teaching Affairs


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