The simultaneous occurrence of human norovirus and hepatitis E virus in a Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus)
Wild rats can be reservoirs and vectors for several human pathogens. An initial RT-PCR screening of the intestinal contents of Norway rats trapped in the sewer system of Copenhagen, Denmark, for caliciviruses revealed the presence of a human norovirus in one of 11 rodents. Subsequent phylogenetic analysis of the ~4.0-kb 3′-terminus of the norovirus genome resulted in the identification of a recombinant GI.b/GI.6 strain. The simultaneous detection of hepatitis E virus-like particles in the feces of this rat by transmission electron microscopy was confirmed by RT-PCR and sequence determination, resulting in the identification of a novel rat hepatitis E virus.