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Liver Int. 2009 Sep;29(8):1230-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1478-3231.2009.02012.x. Epub 2009 Apr 15.

Full-genome nucleotide sequence and analysis of a Chinese swine hepatitis E virus isolate of genotype 4 identified in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region: evidence of zoonotic risk from swine to human in South China.

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Department of Microbiology, Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing, China.



Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is one of the leading causes of the enteric-transmitted acute hepatitis. Many studies have found high identities between human and animal HEV isolates using partial sequence comparison analysis.


To determine and phylogenetically analyse the complete genome of the swGX40 isolate from the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.


The overlapping fragments of HEV isolate swGX40 were amplified with reverse transcription-nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the 5' and 3' ends of viral genome were amplified with rapid amplification of cDNA ends. The PCR products were cloned and sequenced. The sequence and phylogenetic analysis of swGX40 were performed.


The full genome of the swGX40 strain consisted of 7233 nucleotides, excluding the poly (A) tail of 36 residues. There are three open reading frames (ORFs), encoding 1705, 674 and 114 amino acids (aa) respectively. The full-genomic sequencing showed that the swGX40 strain shared similarity with all known HEV genotype 1, 2 and 3 isolates by 73.4-76.5% and with an identity of 83.1-91.2% among genotype 4 HEV isolates. The partial ORF2 sequencing (249 nt) showed that swGX40 shared a high nucleotide identity of 94 and 97% with the Chinese human strain LZ-105 and the Vietnamese human strain HE-JVN-1 respectively.


The swine isolate swGX40 was closely related to the human isolate LZ-105, both of which were collected from Liuzhou, the same district in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region. This molecular biological evidence strongly supported the zoonosis hypothesis of hepatitis E.

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