Differences in capabilities of different enzyme immunoassays to detect anti-hepatitis E virus immunoglobulin G in pigs infected experimentally with hepatitis E virus genotype 3 or 4 and in pigs with unknown exposure.

Research paper by H H Zhang, U U Mohn, J R JR Prickett, S S Schalk, M M Motz, P G PG Halbur, A R AR Feagins, X J XJ Meng, T T Opriessnig

Indexed on: 21 May '11Published on: 21 May '11Published in: Journal of Virological Methods


Hepatitis E virus (HEV), a major cause of acute viral hepatitis in humans in many developing countries, is highly prevalent in the pig population worldwide. The objective of this study was to assess the capability of three porcine prototypes of a human enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), an in-house ELISA and a line-immunoassay (LIA) to detect anti-HEV antibodies in pigs infected experimentally with HEV (n = 57), known to be negative for HEV infection (n = 27), or with unknown exposure to HEV infection (field samples, n = 90). All 27 samples from non-infected pigs were negative with all five assays. The earliest detection of anti-HEV antibodies occurred at 14 days post-inoculation (dpi) with four of five assays. From 42 dpi, all samples from infected pigs were detected correctly as anti-HEV positive. Kappa analysis demonstrated substantial agreement among tests (0.62-1.00) at 14 dpi and complete agreement (1.00) at 56 dpi. The overall area under the curve for all quantitative tests as determined by receiver operator characteristic analysis ranged from 0.794 to 0.831 indicating moderate accuracy. The results showed that all five assays can detect anti-HEV IgG antibodies accurately in pigs infected experimentally with HEV. In field samples, a higher prevalence of anti-HEV IgG was found in breeding herds than in growing pigs (100% versus 66.7-93.9%). These serological assays should be very useful in veterinary diagnostic labs for HEV diagnosis in swine.