Send to

Choose Destination
J Infect Dis. 2000 Feb;181(2):449-55.

Prevalence of antibody to hepatitis E virus among rodents in the United States.

Author information

Hepatitis Branch, National Center for Infectious Diseases, and Division of International Health, Epidemiology Program Office, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.


The recent identification of antibody to hepatitis E virus (HEV) in pigs, sheep, and cattle and characterization of an HEV isolated from domestic pigs suggest animal reservoirs for this virus. To investigate whether rodents might be a natural reservoir of HEV, the prevalence of anti-HEV was determined among a variety of species throughout the United States. Serum samples were obtained from 806 rodents of 26 species in 15 genera. Anti-HEV prevalence was assessed by 2 EIAs (mosaic protein- and 55-kDa protein-based), which gave concordant results. The highest prevalence of antibody was found in the genus Rattus (59.7%; 166/278). Overall, rodents from urban habitats had a significantly higher prevalence of anti-HEV than did animals captured from rural areas. A high prevalence of anti-HEV was found in animals captured on mainland versus barrier islands. The results from this study provide convincing evidence of widespread HEV or HEV-like infection in rodents of the United States.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center