Distribution and Genetic Diversity of Hepatitis E Virus in Wild and Domestic Rabbits in Australia

Maria Jenckel, Ina Smith, Tegan King, Peter West, Patrick L. Taggart, Tanja Strive, Robyn N. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

In 2020, Hepatitis E virus (HEV) was detected for the first time in Australian rabbits. To improve our understanding of the genetic diversity and distribution of the virus, 1635 rabbit liver samples from locations across Australia were screened via RT-qPCR for HEV. HEV genomes were amplified and sequenced from 48 positive samples. Furthermore, we tested 380 serum samples from 11 locations across Australia for antibodies against HEV. HEV was detected in rabbits from all states and territories, except the Northern Territory. Seroprevalence varied between locations (from 0% to 22%), demonstrating that HEV is widely distributed in rabbit populations across Australia. Phylogenetic analyses showed that Australian HEV sequences are genetically diverse and that HEV was likely introduced into Australia independently on several occasions. In summary, this study broadens our understanding of the genetic diversity of rabbit HEV globally and shows that the virus is endemic in both domestic and wild rabbit populations in Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1637
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalPathogens
Volume10
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Distribution and Genetic Diversity of Hepatitis E Virus in Wild and Domestic Rabbits in Australia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this