1887

Abstract

Avian hepatitis E virus (HEV) is genetically and antigenically related to human HEV. Vertical transmission of HEV has been reported in humans, but not in other animals. In this study, we showed that avian HEV could be detected in chicken egg-white samples. Subsequently, avian HEV in egg white was found to be infectious, as evidenced by the appearance of viraemia, faecal virus shedding and seroconversion in chickens inoculated with avian HEV-positive egg white, but not in chickens inoculated with HEV-negative egg white. To further assess the possibility of vertical transmission of avian HEV, batches of embryonated eggs from infected hens were hatched, and hatched chicks were monitored for evidence of avian HEV infection. However, no virus was detected in samples collected from the hatched chicks throughout this study, suggesting that avian HEV could not complete the vertical transmission cycle. The possible implications of our findings are also discussed.

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2007-05-01
2019-12-13
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