Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection has previously been reported in wild mongooses on Okinawa Island; to date however, only one HEV RNA sequence has been identified in a mongoose. Hence, this study was performed to detect HEV RNA in 209 wild mongooses on Okinawa Island. Six (2.9%) samples tested positive for HEV RNA. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that 6 HEV RNAs belonged to genotype 3 and were classified into groups A and B. In group B, mongoose-derived HEV sequences were very similar to mongoose HEV previously detected on Okinawa Island, as well as to those of a pig. This investigation emphasized the possibility that the mongoose is a reservoir animal for HEV on Okinawa Island.
2012 by the Japanese Society of Veterinary Science