1887

Abstract

The ancestor(s) of apparently Japan-indigenous strains of (HEV) was probably of foreign origin, but it remains unclear when and from where it made inroads. In this study, 24 genotype 3 and 24 genotype 4 HEV strains recovered in Japan each showed a significant cluster, clearly distinct from those of foreign strains, in the phylogenetic tree constructed from an 821 nt RNA polymerase gene fragment. The evolutionary rate, approximately 0·8×10 nucleotide substitutions per site per year, enabled tracing of the demographic history of HEV and suggested that the ancestors of Japan-indigenous HEV had made inroads around 1900, when several kinds of Yorkshire pig were imported from the UK to Japan. Interestingly, the evolutionary growth of genotype 3 in Japan has been slow since the 1920s, whereas genotype 4 has spread rapidly since the 1980s. In conclusion, these data suggest that the indigenization and spread of HEV in Japan were associated with the popularization of eating pork.

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2006-04-01
2019-11-12
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