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Hepatitis E virus chronic infection of swine co-infected with Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus

Abstract : AbstractIn developed countries, most of hepatitis E human cases are of zoonotic origin. Swine is a major hepatitis E virus (HEV) reservoir and foodborne transmissions after pork product consumption have been described. The risk for HEV-containing pig livers at slaughter time is related to the age at infection and to the virus shedding duration. Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSV) is a virus that impairs the immune response; it is highly prevalent in pig production areas and suspected to influence HEV infection dynamics. The impact of PRRSV on the features of HEV infections was studied through an experimental HEV/PRRSV co-infection of specific-pathogen-free (SPF) pigs. The follow-up of the co-infected animals showed that HEV shedding was delayed by a factor of 1.9 in co-infected pigs compared to HEV-only infected pigs and specific immune response was delayed by a factor of 1.6. HEV shedding was significantly increased with co-infection and dramatically extended (48.6 versus 9.7 days for HEV only). The long-term HEV shedding was significantly correlated with the delayed humoral response in co-infected pigs. Direct transmission rate was estimated to be 4.7 times higher in case of co-infection than in HEV only infected pigs (0.70 and 0.15 per day respectively). HEV infection susceptibility was increased by a factor of 3.3, showing the major impact of PRRSV infection on HEV dynamics. Finally, HEV/PRRSV co-infection – frequently observed in pig herds – may lead to chronic HEV infection which may dramatically increase the risk of pig livers containing HEV at slaughter time.
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Morgane Salines, Elodie Barnaud, Mathieu Andraud, Florent Eono, Patricia Renson, et al.. Hepatitis E virus chronic infection of swine co-infected with Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus. Veterinary Research, BioMed Central, 2015, 46 (1), pp.55. ⟨10.1186/s13567-015-0207-y⟩. ⟨hal-01326795⟩

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