Hepatitis E in southern Vietnam: Seroepidemiology in humans and molecular epidemiology in pigs

Berto A, Pham HA, Thao TTN, Vy NHT, Caddy SL, Hiraide R, Tue NT, Goodfellow I, Carrique-Mas JJ, Thwaites GE, Baker S, Boni MF, the VIZIONS consortium, Kiet BT, Bryant JE, Phu BD, Campbell JI, Hung DM, Huong DT, Oanh DT, Day JN, Van Tan D, van Doorn HR, Han DA, Farrar JJ, Trang HTT, Nghia HDT, Long HB, Van Duong H, Thu HTK, Cuong LC, Hung M, Phuong T, Phuc T, Phuong T, Luat X, Ha LTT, Van Chuong L, Loan MTP, Nadjm B, Bao NT, Hoa NT, Tu NC, Thuan ND, Dong N, Chuyen NK, An NN, Vinh NN, Hung NQ, Dung NT, Minh NT, Binh NT, Tham NTH, Tien NTH, Chuc NTK, Le Ngoc NT, Ha NTL, Lien NTN, Diep NTN, Nhung NT, Chau NTS, Chi NTY, Trinh NT, Van NT, Van Cuong N, Van Hung N, Van Kinh N, Van Minh Hoang N, Van My N, Van Thang N, Van Thanh N, Van Vinh Chau N, Van Xang N, My PH, Khoa PTM, Tam PTT, Van Lao P, Van Minh P, Van Be Bay P, Rabaa MA, Rahman M, Thompson C, Ngan TTD, Nhu TDH, Chau THM, Toan TK, Phuc TM, Hong TTK, Dung TTN, Thanh TTT, Minh TTT, Nguyen TT, Hien TT, Tri TQ, Hien VB, Tai VN, Cuong VQ, Phat VV, Huong VTL, Hang VTT, Wertheim H, Bogaardt C, Chase-Topping M, Ivens A, Lu L, Ngyuen D, Rambaut A, Simmonds P, Woolhouse M, Cotten M, Oude Munnink BB, Kellam P, Phan MVT, van der Hoek L, Deijs M, Jebbink MF, Farsani SMJ, Saylors K & Wolfe N

(2018) Zoonoses and Public Health 65, 43-50.

Viral pathogens account for a significant proportion of the burden of emerging infectious diseases in humans. The Wellcome Trust-Vietnamese Initiative on Zoonotic Infections (WT-VIZIONS) is aiming to understand the circulation of viral zoonotic pathogens in animals that pose a potential risk to human health. Evidence suggests that human exposure and infections with hepatitis E virus (HEV) genotypes (GT) 3 and 4 results from zoonotic transmission. Hypothesising that HEV GT3 and GT4 are circulating in the Vietnamese pig population and can be transmitted to humans, we aimed to estimate the seroprevalence of HEV exposure in a population of farmers and the general population. We additionally performed sequence analysis of HEV in pig populations in the same region to address knowledge gaps regarding HEV circulation and to evaluate if pigs were a potential source of HEV exposure. We found a high prevalence of HEV GT3 viral RNA in pigs (19.1% in faecal samples and 8.2% in rectal swabs) and a high HEV seroprevalence in pig farmers (16.0%) and a hospital-attending population (31.7%) in southern Vietnam. The hospital population was recruited as a general-population proxy even though this particular population subgroup may introduce bias. The detection of HEV RNA in pigs indicates that HEV may be a zoonotic disease risk in this location, although a larger sample size is required to infer an association between HEV positivity in pigs and seroprevalence in humans. ? 2017 The Authors. Zoonoses and Public Health Published by Blackwell Verlag GmbH

Andrew Rambaut, 2007