Avian hepatitis E virus (aHEV), clinically important in poultry industry, can cause death and reduce egg production of chickens, resulting in significant economic losses in the poultry industry. However, little is known about this aHEV infection in Burkina Faso. This study presents the results of distribution and characterization of aHEV in domestic and wild birds without clinical disease. In total 173 birds liver samples were collected from four Burkina Faso provinces, between February 2015 and June 2016. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) with aHEV specific degenerate primers was used to screen the presence of aHEV. RNA of aHEV was detected in 29 (16.8%) liver samples. Of these, the prevalence was diverse in different species of birds; the most frequent level was 35.3% in Numida meleagris, respectively followed by 23.5% in Gallus gallus domesticus, 13.3% in Streptopelia turtur, 13.3% in Columba livia, 6.7% in Anas platyrhynchos and 3.3% in Pternistis natalensis. The present study firstly revealed the prevalence of HEV infection in six species of birds in Burkina. It is therefore important to conduct further research on the impact on poultry mortality and egg production in our country.
Key words: Avian hepatitis E virus, zoonosis, birds, prevalence, Burkina Faso.
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