Background: Hepatitis E virus (HEV) of the Hepeviridae family represents a worldwide public health issue, characterized by wide host range and geographical distribution (Hakim et al. 2017). The whole spectrum of receptive hosts still remains unknown (Meng 2010), contributing to make HEV epidemiology unclear. Domestic pig and wild boar represent the main reservoir in Europe for HEV infection, in particular in wild boar prevalence reaches 40%, while role of deer as spill-over or natural host is still discussed. Nowadays low information is available for HEV infection in alpine wild ungulates. This study aims to serologically investigate HEV infection in these species to provide basal epidemiological patterns of this infection in alpine environment. Materials and Methods: Sampling was carried out during hunting activity and depopulation plans in two periods in Western and Central Alps: 2013- 2015 and 2017-2018. In the first period, sera from 216 chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra), 254 red deer (Cervus elaphus) and 32 roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) were collected in different provinces of North Italy: Verbano-Cusio-ossola, Vercelli, Lecco and Sondrio. In these areas there was a low, but increasing, presence of wild boar (0.1-0.5 animals/km2) (Carnevali et al. 2009). In 2017-2018 sampling was carried out in Bergamo province, where wild boar density reached values of 2.0 animals/km2. In this area sera were collected from 220 wild boar (Sus scrofa), 56 chamois, 120 roe deer and 24 mouflons (Ovis aries musimon). All sera were tested by a species-independent immune-enzymatic assay (HEV ELISA 4.0v, MP Diagnostics Biomedicals, Singapore) able to provide qualitative results about presence of IgM, IgG and IgA directed against HEV. Results and Discussion: In the period 2013-2015, chamois and red deer showed a prevalence of 0.9% (2/216; CI 95%:0-2.1) and 0.8% (2/254; CI 95%:0-1.9), respectively. Out of the 4 positive animals, 2 chamois and 1 red deer were from Verbano Cusio Ossola province and 1 red deer was from Sondrio. All roe deer resulted negative. In 2017-2018 out of 220 wild boars, 22 resulted positive showing a prevalence of 10% (CI 95%:6-13.9), chamois and roe deer presented a prevalence of 3.5% (2/56; CI 95%:0-8.3) and 0.8% (1/120; CI 95%:0-2.3) respectively. All mouflons resulted negative. This study firstly reports HEV infection in chamois and deer in alpine environments, showing a low prevalence of HEV antibody and suggesting just a sporadic presence in the Alps. After all, such finding of sporadic presence of HEV in investigated species in the alpine environment is consistent with the equal low prevalence observed in wild boars (Caruso et al. 2015; Martinelli et al. 2015). Moreover, in Bergamo province, an area with higher wild boar density, present results show higher prevalence in chamois and roe deer than in other North-Italian provinces examined, where wild boar has a sporadic presence. These observations support the role of wild ruminants as spill-over hosts from wild boar populations. Indeed, a wide range of HEV seroprevalences were found in wild boars in Italy. In Apennines, where there is an abundant population of this host, prevalence reaches the highest values (about 49%) and coincide with moderate prevalence recorded in red deer sharing the same area (about 13.9%). The ongoing expansion of wild boar populations throughout a wide spectrum of habitat types, including alpine grasslands over 2000m asl (Massei et al. 2015; Giacomelli et al. 2018) could lead to more interspecific interactions. This aspect shall be further considered in relation to the increasing density and overlapping distribution of wild ungulates in the Alps, to seasonal presence of livestock during mountain pasture, and thus to the increase of HEV spread, with potential health implications linked to the hunting and zootechnical activity.
Hepatitis E: low serological prevalence in alpine wild ungulates / T. Trogu, N. Ferrari, N. Formenti, L. Pedrotti, A. Gaffuri, L. Pellicioli., M. Besozzi, R. Viganò, P. Lanfranchi, A. Lavazza, C. Luzzago. ((Intervento presentato al 7. convegno EWDA Student Symposium/Workshop tenutosi a Lyon nel 2019.
|Titolo:||Hepatitis E: low serological prevalence in alpine wild ungulates|
|Data di pubblicazione:||apr-2019|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore VET/05 - Malattie Infettive degli Animali Domestici|
Settore VET/06 - Parassitologia e Malattie Parassitarie degli Animali
|Citazione:||Hepatitis E: low serological prevalence in alpine wild ungulates / T. Trogu, N. Ferrari, N. Formenti, L. Pedrotti, A. Gaffuri, L. Pellicioli., M. Besozzi, R. Viganò, P. Lanfranchi, A. Lavazza, C. Luzzago. ((Intervento presentato al 7. convegno EWDA Student Symposium/Workshop tenutosi a Lyon nel 2019.|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||14 - Intervento a convegno non pubblicato|