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Vet Microbiol. 2009 Mar 30;135(3-4):248-52. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2008.09.075. Epub 2008 Oct 1.

Retrospective serological study on hepatitis E infection in pigs from 1985 to 1997 in Spain.

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Centre de Recerca en Sanitat Animal (CReSA), UAB-IRTA, Campus de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain.


The objective of the present work was to ascertain the date in which hepatitis E virus (HEV) was introduced in the Spanish pig population. For this, a serological retrospective study was carried out using archived sera. A total of 2871 serum samples gathered between 1985 and 1997 and collected in 208 farms of Spain were tested for anti-HEV IgG by an in-house ELISA. Of the 2871 sera analyzed by ELISA, 1390 were positive for anti-HEV antibodies (48.4%, 95% CI: 46.9-49.9%) and that corresponded to 204/208 farms (98%, 95% CI: 96.1-99.9%) having at least one positive pig. Our results show that HEV was present and widespread in Spanish swine farms at least since 1985. Any significant changes in prevalence were detected from 1 year to another and therefore, HEV infection in swine should be considered endemic in Spain.

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