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Full genome analysis of Hepatitis E Virus (HEV) circulating in UK pigs - OZ0155

There is increasing awareness of the potential risks to public health associated with zoonotic transmission of hepatitis E virus (HEV). AHVLA has detected HEV within the pork food supply chain in England and PHE has similar data indicating a link of food products to UK cases of autochthonous hepatitis E. This indicates that HepE is not only an emerging zoonoses of developing countries raising questions for food security in a complex processing chain. In order to build and expand on this research a better understanding of the molecular epidemiology of HEV is required.
The aim of the project is to analyse full genome sequences of HEV strains from pig faecal samples obtained already as part of an ongoing study (2013 Baseline Survey in pigs). This data will be aligned with results obtained by PHE investigating the occurrence of HEV in the blood of the same pigs. The combined data will be compared with data from human cases to gain better understanding of disease transmission, epidemiology and evolution of the virus.
The project objectives are
1. to obtain full genome sequence data for HEV from UK pigs
2. to compare this data with equivalent data available for UK cases of autochthonous hepatitis E (PHE)
Objective 1. Test the caecal content sample-set that was compiled during the 2013 Baseline survey in pigs, by
real-time PCR to identify HEV RNA+ samples

Objective 2. Establish a protocol for sample preparation for the analysis of HEV by NGS

Objective 3. Select 20 HEV RNA+ samples and obtain full genome sequence data for HEV by NGS

Objective 4. Compare full genome data with data from human cases (data from HPA and GenBank)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2013

To: 2014

Cost: £32,349
Contractor / Funded Organisations
A H V L A (Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency - AHVLA)
Fields of Study
Animal Health