Hepatitis E virus is a leading cause of acute and chronic liver failure, and pigs are considered natural reservoir host of zoonotic genotypes 3 and 4. The zoonotic risk of HEV among occupationally exposed individuals is a public health concern especially in developing countries. This paper describes evidence and risks associated with HEV in an intensive pig farm estate in Lagos Nigeria. In a cross sectional study, blood samples were conveniently collected from populations of pigs and pig handlers along with a questionnaire survey. Sera obtained were tested for anti-HEV IgG and IgM antibodies by two step double antigen sandwich ELISA using Hep.EV ELISA kit according to manufacturer?s protocol. Two hundred and twenty one and 73 sera were obtained from pigs and handlers respectively. Two hundred and twelve (97%) swine, and 13 (17.8%) human were positive for anti-HEV IgG. Similarly, 3 (1.4%) and 1 (1.3%) of swine and human sera were positive for anti-HEV IgM. This study shows evidence of HEV in the study populations and emphasizes its zoonotic risk among pig handlers. Improvement in biosecurity practices including sanitation and proper animal waste disposal is strongly recommended as part of control measures against HEV.
Meseko Clement, Odurinde Olumide, Odaibo Georgina, Olaleye David
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