Seroprevalence of Hepatitis E Virus Infection in Pigs from Southern Bulgaria: a Preliminary Report

Seroprevalence of Hepatitis E Virus Infection in Pigs from Southern Bulgaria: a Preliminary Report

Tsachev I, Pepovich R, Marutsov P, Baymakova M, Pishmisheva M, Pekova L, Gospodinova K. Seroprevalence of hepatitis E virus infection in pigs from Southern Bulgaria: a preliminary report. Int J Infect Dis 2019; 79(Suppl 1): 63.





Purpose: Hepatitis E virus infection (HEV infection) is an emerging zoonosis. It becomes increasingly important in developed countries and occurs as current health and veterinary problem. In pigs, HEV infection is subclinical, but swine are main reservoir of HEV. The aim of the study was to analyze the seroprevalence of HEV in industrial pig farms from Southern Bulgaria.

Methods & Materials: The study was conducted in two different Bulgarian districts (Yambol district and Sofia district). One hundred and eighty serum samples were tested, they belonged to three different age and technological swine groups: piglets (age: 1–3 months), fattening pigs (4–6 months) and sows (over 12 months). Serological test PrioCHECK HEV Ab porcine (MIKROGEN GmbH, Neuried, Germany) was used. The PrioCHECK HEV Ab porcine is a diagnostic test for detection of antibodies directed against hepatitis E virus in porcine serum based on ELISA technology.

Results: The serological test found positive results in both analyzed districts. The overall seroprevalence (in both farms) among piglets was 43.3% (95% CI: 8.9–95.6), in fattening group was 61.7 ± 54.2% and among sows was 93.3% (95% CI: 86.8–99.9). The highest prevalence was found in Sofia district (80/90; 88.9%), and the lowest was detected in Yambol district (39/90; 43.3%). Doubtful results were estimated in 6.1% of all investigated serum samples.

Conclusion: The present study established that HEV is widespread in pigs from Southern Bulgaria. The seroprevalence in Southwestern Bulgaria is twice higher than in Southeastern Bulgaria. Sows are most affected by HEV, while piglets are at least. The obtained results determine preventive measures and further investigations.


Гл. ас. д-р Магдалена Баймакова, д.м.

Специалист "Инфекциозни болести"

19 февруари 2019