Zoonotic transmission of hepatitis E virus (HEV), in particular the genotype (GT) 3 and GT4 strains, constitutes a major one health issue. Swine serves as an important reservoir and the processed pork products essentially contribute to foodborne transmission. This study comprehensively estimated HEV prevalence in domestic pigs, wild boars, and pork products. At global level, we found nearly 60% domestic pigs and 27% wild boars have ever encountered HEV infection based seroprevalence rate. Nearly 13% domestic and 9.5% wild swine are actively infected based on HEV RNA positivity. Importantly, about 10% of commercial pork products are HEV RNA positive, although available data are limited in this respect. Our results indicate the high prevalence rate of HEV infection in pigs and widespread contamination in pork products, although there are substantial variations at regional and country levels. These findings are important for better understanding the global epidemiology and clinical burden of HEV infection in human population related to zoonotic transmission.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research is supported by the Changjiang Scholars and Innovative Research Team in University (No. IRT_17R88 ) to Z. Ma, the China Scholarship Council for funding PhD fellowship to P. Li (No. 201808370170 ), and a VIDI grant (No. 91719300 ) from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) to Q. Pan. We greatly thank Dr. Wichor M. Bramer from the Medical Library, Erasmus MC-University Medical Center for conducting the literature search.