Co-infection of pigs with Hepatitis E and porcine circovirus 2, Saxony 2016
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a recognized zoonotic disease; autochthonous infections in Europe are caused to a great extent by HEV genotype 3. Pigs and wild boar are the main reservoirs for this genotype and normally they develop no or only subclinical symptoms with mild histopathological lesions. However, co-infections with other pig pathogens can lead to severe cases in pigs, including liver hemorrhage and necrosis. During a monitoring program 2016 in Saxony, Germany, farmed pigs with various clinical outcomes including fatalities were analysed for HEV and concurrent infections. We could detect eight HEV infected pigs from which six were co-infected with porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2). Phylogenetic analysis revealed HEV sub-genotypes 3e and 3f as well as PCV2 genotypes 2b and 2d. A direct correlation of the co-infection to the course of disease could not be determined, but the results provide hints that the immune modulatory effects of PCV2 combined with HEV influence the disease pattern in pigs.