Hepatitis E is a worldwide public health problem especially in areas

Hepatitis E is a worldwide public health problem especially in areas with poor sanitation. from pigs and a sporadic hepatitis E case in humans. The human HEV strain (CHN-XJ-HE29) shared 100% nucleotide identity Glycitin with the swine HEV strain (CHN-XJ-SW50) both of which were collected from Glycitin the same district; this indicates the possibility of HEV transmission from swine to humans in an endemic area. Introduction Hepatitis E virus (HEV) the causative agent of epidemic and sporadic hepatitis E is no longer confined to developing countries but has also become a concern of developed countries.1 The virus is transmitted primarily by fecal-oral route. Water-borne epidemic is one of the characteristics of hepatitis E in developing countries where sanitation conditions are poor.2 HEV as the sole member of the genus in family is a non-enveloped virus with a positive sense single-stranded RNA genome approximately 7.2 kb in length. HEV has at least four distinct genotypes with one serotype; HEV genotypes 1 and 2 exclusively infect humans and they are often associated with outbreaks or large epidemics in Glycitin developing countries. However HEV genotypes 3 and 4 infect both humans and animals and they are often associated with sporadic hepatitis E.3 On mainland China there are three HEV genotypes (1 3 and 4) prevailing in humans and/or animals. Among them HEV genotype 1 had once caused a large-scale epidemic in southern Xinjiang (1986-1988) and its causative strains were successively isolated from most parts of China from 1989 to 2003.4-7 HEV genotype 3 considered as an imported genotype has been found in eastern China since 2006.8 HEV genotype 4 which circulates both in humans and animals has become the dominant genotype instead of genotype 1 since 2004.7 Since the first swine HEV strain was isolated in 1997 by Meng 9 it has been documented by more and more studies that swine is the largest viral reservoir of HEV and that hepatitis E is a zoonosis.10-12 However in India (an HEV-endemic area) human HEV belonged to genotype 1 whereas swine HEV was restricted to genotype 4. Additionally the local human HEV isolate (AKL-90; genotype 1a) failed to infect specific pathogen-free pigs.13 14 Furthermore hepatitis E outbreaks or large-scale epidemics mainly occurred in Southeast Asia Central Asia Middle East and North Africa where most local citizens are Muslims Buddhists and Hindu who seldom eat pork or hardly have contact with pigs. Therefore swine may not play the only role in transmission of HEV in these endemic areas. In addition anti-HEV was found to be prevalent Glycitin among various animals such as horses cows rodents cats dogs goats and so on.1 15 16 Moreover partial or complete genomes of HEV were detected in deer wild boar mongoose.17-19 Therefore there should be some HEV animal reservoirs other than swine that cause zoonotic diseases in HEV-endemic areas. Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region adjoins to Central Asia and is mostly occupied by Muslim populations. The largest hepatitis E outbreak occurred in the region from 1986 to 1988 with about 120 0 persons infected and its causative agent was identified as genotype 1 HEV. The outbreak lasted for over 2 years and was associated with continuous drinking-water contamination.20 In recent years swine HEV isolates (genotype 4) were also identified in this region.21 22 However the significant genetic diversity between the swine and human HEV isolates suggested that the swine HEV was unlikely to be the major source of the hepatitis E outbreak in Xinjiang. In this study 12 different animal species and 296 persons from Xinjiang were examined to search Slc2a3 for potential HEV animal reservoirs besides swine and to learn the current status of HEV infection among animals and humans in Xinjiang China. Materials and Methods Sample collection. One thousand five hundred twenty-one serum samples from 12 different animal species in southern Xinjiang were collected in this study. These 12 species were simply classified into four major categories according to their distinct living habits: slaughter swine domestic herbivorous animals rodents and aquatic animals. The detailed classification and illustration for the animal serum samples are shown in Table 1. Table 1 The prevalence of anti-HEV among 12 different animal species sera Two hundred.