First evidence of hepatitis E virus infection in a small mammal (yellow-necked mouse) from Croatia

Autoři: Jelena Prpić aff001;  Tomislav Keros aff001;  Marko Vucelja aff002;  Linda Bjedov aff002;  Oktavija Đaković Rode aff003;  Josip Margaletić aff002;  Boris Habrun aff001;  Lorena Jemeršić aff001
Působiště autorů: Croatian Veterinary Institute, Zagreb, Croatia aff001;  Forestry Faculty University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia aff002;  University Hospital for Infectious Diseases “Dr. Fran Mihaljević”, Zagreb, Croatia aff003;  University of Zagreb School of Dental Medicine, Zagreb, Croatia aff004
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(11)
Kategorie: Research Article
prolekare.web.journal.doi_sk: 10.1371/journal.pone.0225583


Since the role of wild rodents/small mammals in hepatitis E virus (HEV) epidemiology has been a subject of considerable debate, this study was conducted to investigate the potential presence of HEV RNA in small rodents collected within their natural habitats and to detect if they can be potential reservoirs of the virus. A total of 483 small rodents were captured using snap traps placed at 11 regions in Croatia. Sampling was undertaken in 2008 and repeated from 2010 to 2014. Liver samples were tested for the presence of HEV RNA. HEV RNA was detected in only one liver sample (0.21%) originated from Apodemus flavicollis from the location Medvednica, nearby Zagreb collected in 2014. According to the sequence analysis, the isolate has shown to be a member of Orthohepevirus A species, genotype HEV-3. The genotyping results confirmed grouping into subtype 3a, general cluster 3abchij.The detected HEV strain showed to be genetically highly related to strains found in humans and/or domestic pigs and wild boars from Croatia. Our finding indicates that wild small mammals could play a role in the epidemiology of HEV-3 infection and therefore should be taken under consideration as potential reservoirs or/and transmitters of the disease. However, further investigation is needed to recognize their potential for maintaining the infection in natural conditions.

Klíčová slova:

Sequence analysis – Mammals – Rodents – Livestock – Swine – Hepatitis E virus – Croatia – Genetic epidemiology


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