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Seroprevalence of Hepatitis E Virus in Moose (Alces alces), Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), Red Deer (Cervus elaphus), Roe Deer (Capreolus capreolus), and Muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus) from Norway.


ABSTRACT: Hepatitis E virus (HEV), a major cause of viral hepatitis worldwide, is considered an emerging foodborne zoonosis in Europe. Pigs (Sus scrofa domestica) and wild boars (S. scrofa) are recognized as important HEV reservoirs. Additionally, HEV infection and exposure have been described in cervids. In Norway, HEV has been identified in pigs and humans; however, little is known regarding its presence in wild ungulates in the country. We used a species-independent double-antigen sandwich ELISA to detect antibodies against HEV in the sera of 715 wild ungulates from Norway, including 164 moose (Alces alces), 186 wild Eurasian tundra reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus), 177 red deer (Cervus elaphus), 86 European roe deer (Capreolus capreolus), and 102 muskoxen (Ovibos moschatus). The overall seroprevalence was 12.3% (88/715). Wild reindeer had the highest seropositivity (23.1%, 43/186), followed by moose (19.5%, 32/164), muskoxen (5.9%, 6/102), and red deer (4%, 7/177). All roe deer were negative. According to our results, HEV is circulating in wild ungulates in Norway. The high seroprevalence observed in wild reindeer and moose indicates that these species may be potential reservoirs of HEV. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of HEV exposure in reindeer from Europe and in muskoxen worldwide.

SUBMITTER: Sacristan C 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7912786 | BioStudies | 2021-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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