Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a cause for public health concern in many developing countries where sanitation conditions are poor. Increasing attention has been focused on the zoonotic nature of HEV. Goats, along with other species of small ruminants have been reported to be susceptible to HEV infection. This study was designed to determine the infection rate of HEV3 by detecting antibodies against capsid proteins of HEV genotype3 in goats from Sokoto using indirect enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). An overall infection rate of HEV3 27.84% (49/176) was recorded in the study. Goats, one year and above, had a prevalence of 32.56% (42/129) while those below the age of one year showed a prevalence of 14.89% (7/47). Their was a statistical significant association beween age and HEV3 infection (P-value<0.05). However, the infection was not significantly associated with breed and sex (P-value>0.05). It was concluded that goats from Sokoto are exposed to HEV3 infection. Goats older than one year appeared to be more exposed. It is suggested to study other domestic animals to determine the magnitude of HEV infection as well as carry out detailed molecular characterization of the virus to evaluate the epidemiological pattern of the virus infection in all domestic animals in the area of this study.
Key words: Hepatitis E virus 3 (HEV3), enzyme linked immunosorbent assay, sero-prevalence, goats, Sokoto metropolis, Nigeria.
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