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Hepatitis E Virus Strains, Czech Republic | CDC EID

EID Journal Home > Volume 17, Number 5–May 2011

Volume 17, Number 5–May 2011
Detection and Phylogenetic Characterization of Human Hepatitis E Virus Strains, Czech Republic
Petra Vasickova, Michal Slany, Pavel Chalupa, Michal Holub, Radek Svoboda, and Ivo Pavlik

Author affiliations: Veterinary Research Institute, Brno, Czech Republic (P. Vasickova, M. Slany, I. Pavlik); Charles University in Prague and University Hospital Bulovka, Prague, Czech Republic (P. Chalupa, M. Holub); and Faculty of Medicine Masaryk University and the Faculty Hospital Brno, Brno (R. Svoboda)

Suggested citation for this article

To determine the origin of hepatitis E virus in the Czech Republic, we analyzed patient clinical samples. Five isolates of genotypes 3e, 3f, and 3g were obtained. Their genetic relatedness with Czech strains from domestic pigs and wild boars and patient recollections suggest an autochthonous source likely linked to consumption of contaminated pork

Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a leading cause of epidemics and sporadic cases of enterically transmitted hepatitis worldwide. The zoonotic potential of HEV was recognized recently, and pigs and other animal species were considered natural reservoirs for the virus (1). Currently, mammalian HEV strains segregate into 4 major genotypes. The relative conservation of genotypes 1 and 2 corresponds to their primary circulation within humans. Genotype 1 consists of epidemic strains from developing countries in Asia and Africa, and representatives of genotype 2 have been described in Mexico and African countries. The diversity of genotypes 3 and 4 is related to their origin from a variety of animal species. Genotype 3 is widely distributed and has been isolated from patients with sporadic cases of acute hepatitis E worldwide. Genotype 4 contains strains of human and animal origin, especially in isolates from Asian countries (2,3).

In the Czech Republic, hepatitis E incidence has been increasing since the first case was described in 1996. From 1996 through 2005, a total of 159 cases of HEV infection were reported; 23% of those cases were associated with travel to industrialized countries (4). In 2005, 37 hepatitis E patients were reported in the Czech Republic, while in 2009 the number increased to 99 (5). On the basis of these data, extensive genomic variability among HEV isolates and their known geographic distribution, we conducted a phylogenetic analysis of HEV isolates from clinical samples of Czech patients with acute hepatitis E to determine the origin of the infection.

Hepatitis E Virus Strains, Czech Republic | CDC EID

Suggested Citation for this Article
Vasickova P, Slany M, Chalupa P, Holub M, Svoboda R, Pavlik I. Detection and phylogenetic characterizationof human hepatitis E strains, Czech Republic. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2011 May [date cited].


DOI: 10.3201/eid1705.101205

Comments to the Authors
Please use the form below to submit correspondence to the authors or contact them at the following address:

Petra Vasickova, Veterinary Research Institute, Hudcova 70, Brno 621 00, Czech Republic
; email: vasickova@vri.cz

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