Seroprevalence of hepatitis e in domestic swine from Amuria and Napak Districts
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Hepatitis E (HEV) is a zoonotic disease and cross-species infection occurs for example between humans and pigs. Swine are regarded as the major reservoirs of zoonotic HEV and there is a high prevalence in developing countries with poor hygiene and inadequate sources of water. The main aim was to find out the seroprevalence of HEV in serum of pigs from Napak district where an outbreak of human HEV has ever occurred and one neighboring district of Amuria and to find out the farmers’ level of awareness and knowledge about livestock hepatitis. A total of 400 blood samples were collected, and 352 were tested, 302 from Amuria and 50 from Napak using a commercial indirect ELISA kit (ID vet, Grabels, France). A total of 139 pretested structured questionnaires were administered at every site of sample collection to assess level of knowledge about livestock hepatitis and treatment. The study revealed HEV sero-prevalence of 84% from Napak and 14.6% from Amuria and an overall prevalence 24% (86/352) and an average prevalence of 49.3%. The sero-prevalence was significantly higher in Napak than Amuria (p < 0.05, X2 value = 112.0056). In addition, 8.6% of the individuals knew of hepatitis in livestock and 7.9% knew that it can spread to humans and 1.4% were aware of its control in humans by vaccination. This study reported a high seroprevalence of HEV than that reported by previous studies in Uganda and a very low level of awareness about hepatitis in livestock. The study therefore recommends other studies to be done in the same area or in other areas to identify risk factors of infection, genotyping of the HEV and sensitization of people about viral hepatitis in livestock.