Gut and Gastroenterology

Genetic Diversity of Hepatitis E Virus in the Republic of Belarus

Author(s): S. V. Zhavoronok, V. V. Davydov, E. L. Gasich, L.A. Anisko, S. I. Marchuk, I. V. Potemkin, A. A. Karlsen, K. K. Kyuregyan, M. I. Mikhailov, G.I. Alatorceva, P.A. Krasochko, D.S. Barysavets, Yu.V. Lamaka

The objective of this research was to study the genetic diversity of hepatitis E virus (HEV) strains obtained from humans and animals in Belarus. Samples of biological material from 97 patients, 79 pigs, 28 wild boars, 40 deer, 359 rabbits were tested for HEV RNA in RT-PCR. The obtained nucleotide sequences (n=9) were subjected to sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. A model of evolutionary relationships for the sequences encoding a fragment of the viral capsid protein was constructed. The sequences from this study split up between the two main clades of subgenotypes of the viral genotype 3. Within the "3abchij" clade, 5 of the 9 studied sequences were clustered, and within the "3efg" clade 2 studied isolates were the subject to clustering. The sequences from rabbits formed a separate clade on dendrogram within the genotype 3 with a 94% probability. The studied HEV nucleotide sequences obtained from humans and animals were clustered with subgenotype reference sequences 3c, 3f, 3i, and 3ra. The possibility of HEV import to the Republic of Belarus from Western Europe and the Russian Federation, as well as existence of autochthonous zoonotic cases of HEV infection have been proved.

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