The identification and characterization of novel rat hepatitis E virus strains in Bali and Sumbawa, Indonesia
All three genetic groups of ratHEV have been found in Indonesia, suggesting the presence of additional variants of ratHEV in unexamined areas of Indonesia. A total of 242 wild rats were captured in Bali and Sumbawa, Indonesia, during 2014-2016. Among them, 4.1% were seropositive for anti-ratHEV IgG and two (0.8%) had detectable ratHEV RNA: ratESUMBAWA-140L and ratEBali2016D-047L, sharing 84.9-85.4% and 86.9-92.1% nucleotide identity with the reported G2 strains, respectively. The provisional criteria supported the notion that the ratEBali2016D-047L and ratESUMBAWA-140L strains were novel G2 variants. These results suggested the spatial distribution of further divergent ratHEV strains in Indonesia.
KeywordsRat hepatitis E virus Bali Sumbawa Full-genome Genetic group
We thank Ms. Endang Wiwik Rochjati in Sumbawa-Besar town for her assistance in collecting wild rats. This study was supported in part by the Research Program on Hepatitis from the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development, AMED (JP17fk0210301) and a MEXT-Supported Program for the Strategic Research Foundation at Private Universities, 2013-2017 (S13110340).
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest in association with the present study.
All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.
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