Hepatitis E Viral Infection in Pigs from North-Eastern Uganda: A Case Study of Amuria and Napak Districts

Article Authors: Kokas Ikwap, Pius Okello, Joseph Erume, Francis O. Inangolet, Mary G. Kulume, Peter Cheli, Charles D. Kato, Gabriel Tumwine, Peter Waiswa, Patrick Etiang and David O. Owiny


Hepatitis E is a zoonotic viral disease and swine are regarded as the major reservoirs. The aim of this study was to find out the sero-prevalence and risk factors of HEV in pigs from Napak District in Uganda where an outbreak of human HEV was reported in 2013/2014 and in the neighboring district of Amuria. Additionally, farmers’ level of awareness and knowledge about livestock hepatitis was investigated. A total of 352 sera samples were tested; 302 from Amuria and 50 from Napak using a commercial indirect ELISA kit (ID vet, France). A pretested structured questionnaire was administered to a total of 139 respondents at every site of sample collection. The sero-prevalence was 84% in Napak and 14.6% in Amuria. Overall prevalence was 24%. The sero-prevalence was significantly higher in Napak as compared to Amuria District (p<0.05, χ2 = 112.0056). Therefore, pigs more likely to be seropositive were from Napak District (p = 0.000, OR = 30.334, CI = 11.847-77.672) and those from households without latrines (p = 0.02, OR = 3.482, CI = 1.568-7.733). In addition, 8.6% of the respondents knew of hepatitis in livestock and 7.9% knew that it spreads to humans. Meanwhile, 1.4% were aware of its possible control in humans by vaccination. This study reported a high sero-prevalence of HEV than previously reported in Uganda and a very low level of awareness among respondents about hepatitis in livestock. The study recommends other studies to identify more risk factors of infection, genotyping of the HEV and sensitizing communities about viral hepatitis in livestock.

Bibliographical metadata

Journal Journal of Animal and Veterinary Advances
Volume 20
Issue No. 1
Pages 39-45
DOI https://dx.doi.org/10.36478/javaa.2021.39.45
Links https://medwelljournals.com/abstract/?doi=javaa.2021.39.45
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