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Seroprevalence of Dromedary Camel HEV in Domestic and Imported Camels from Saudi Arabia

Department of Biological Science, Division of Microbiology, Faculty of science, King Abdulaziz University, PO Box 80216, Jeddah 21859, Saudi Arabia
Special Infectious Agents Unit, King Fahd Medical Research Center, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80216, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
Department of Medical Laboratory Technology, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80205, Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
Directorate of Agriculture, Ministry of Environment Water and Agriculture, Makkah Region, Saudi Arabia
Department of Public Health, College of Nursing, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21859, Saudi Arabia
Department of Infection Control and Environmental Health, King Abdulaziz University Hospital, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21859, Saudi Arabia
Department of Infectious Diseases, Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah 21859, Saudi Arabia
Department of Virology II, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Gakuen 4-7-1, Musashi-murayama, Tokyo 208-0011, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2020, 12(5), 553;
Received: 4 April 2020 / Revised: 27 April 2020 / Accepted: 5 May 2020 / Published: 18 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hepatitis E Virus Molecular Epidemiology and Evolution)
Hepatitis E Virus (HEV) imposes a major health concern in areas with very poor sanitation in Africa and Asia. The pathogen is transmitted mainly through ingesting contaminated water or food, coming into contact with affected people, and blood transfusions. Very few reports including old reports are available on the prevalence of HEV in Saudi Arabia in humans and no reports exist on HEV prevalence in camels. Dromedary camel trade and farming are increasing in Saudi Arabia with importation occurring unidirectionally from Africa to Saudi Arabia. DcHEV transmission to humans has been reported in one case from the United Arab Emeritus (UAE). This instigated us to perform this investigation of the seroprevalence of HEV in imported and domestic camels in Saudi Arabia. Serum samples were collected from imported and domestic camels. DcHEV-Abs were detected in collected sera using ELISA. The prevalence of DcHEV in the collected samples was 23.1% with slightly lower prevalence in imported camels than domestic camels (22.4% vs. 25.4%, p value = 0.3). Gender was significantly associated with the prevalence of HEV in the collected camels (p value = 0.015) where males (31.6%) were more infected than females (13.4%). This study is the first study to investigate the prevalence of HEV in dromedary camels from Saudi Arabia. The high seroprevalence of DcHEV in dromedaries might indicate their role as a zoonotic reservoir for viral infection to humans. Future HEV seroprevalence studies in humans are needed to investigate the role of DcHEV in the Saudi human population. View Full-Text
Keywords: DcHEV; Saudi Arabia; dromedary camels DcHEV; Saudi Arabia; dromedary camels
MDPI and ACS Style

El-Kafrawy, S.A.; Hassan, A.M.; El-Daly, M.M.; Qadri, I.; Tolah, A.M.; Al-Subhi, T.L.; Alzahrani, A.A.; Alsaaidi, G.A.; Al-Abdullah, N.; Kaki, R.M.; Li, T.-C.; Azhar, E.I. Seroprevalence of Dromedary Camel HEV in Domestic and Imported Camels from Saudi Arabia. Viruses 2020, 12, 553.

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