First Report of Hepatitis E Virus Circulation in Domestic Pigs in Nigeria

Olajide A Owolodun, Priscilla Freitas Gerber, Luis G Giménez-Lirola, Jacob K P Kwaga, Tanja Opriessnig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is an important cause of acute hepatitis in humans. Zoonotic transmission between pigs and humans has been confirmed. Human HEV infection is common in Nigeria; however, display of HEV infection in other species was lacking. The objective of this study was to characterize HEV infection in Nigerian pigs. A total of 286 serum samples from six states in Nigeria were tested for presence of anti-HEV IgG. Ninety fecal samples from one of these states (Plateau State) were tested for presence of HEV RNA. The overall prevalence of anti-HEV IgG-positive or suspect-positive pigs was 55.6% (159 of 286) with regional prevalence rates ranging from 36% (9 of 25; Delta State) to 88% (22 of 25; Taraba State). The overall HEV RNA prevalence rate was 76.7% (69 of 90). All polymerase chain reaction-positive samples belonged to HEV genotype 3 based on sequencing. The results indicate that HEV genotype 3 infection is widespread in Nigerian pigs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)699-704
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number4
Early online date7 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jul 2014


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