s infects only humans” (1). However, further

s were especially successful because “there is only oneserotype of HAV, and HAV infects only humans” (1). However, further researchrevealed that this statement was not entirely accurate.  The first article that addresses this topicis called “Naturally Circulating Hepatitis A Virus in Olive Baboons, Uganda.

”  This article studied acute Hepatitis A virusoutbreaks in primates. The researchers first found the Hepatitis A virus in anon-human primate, specifically an Olive Baboon living in the wild, in2010.  Upon further testing in 2014, theyfound a troop of Olive Baboons with the Hepatitis A virus in their feces,indicating infection.  To furtherinvestigate these findings, the research team immobilized 23 Olive Baboons andcollected samples.  Then, each of the 23 bloodsamples had the RNA isolated and sequenced. One sample tested positive Hepatitis A virus.  The researchers had fecal samples from 11 ofthe 23 baboons, and they used RT-PCR on the fecal samples to test for HepatitisA virus; 5 of the 11 samples tested positive, meaning there was a higherproportion of primates who tested positive for the virus in the feces than inthe blood, indicating fecal viral shedding.

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 Researchers later tested a second troop of baboons that resided in thesame field as the first troop, and found of the 19 baboons in that troop 7tested positive for fecal Hepatitis A viral RNA. (4)            The dangerof the variant of the Hepatitis A virus variant carried by the Olive Baboons isunclear, though according to the article “HAV variants might be capable ofinfecting a diversity of primate hosts” (4).  The genome of the baboon Hepatitis A virus andthe human Hepatitis A virus are considered a single serotype, so there may beno distinction between human acquired and non-human primate acquired HepatitisA virus on normal lab tests.  There havebeen documented cases of the spread of gastrointestinal pathogens betweennon-human primates and humans who live in close proximity before, and thecross-pathogenicity of the Hepatitis A virus between non-human primates andhumans warrants further study (4).            The nextstudy in this discussion, “Experimental Evidence of Hepatitis A Virus Infectionin Pigs” looked at the potential of pigs to be a reservoir for Hepatitis Avirus.

  The researchers took 11 pigs andused RT-PCR to confirm that all 11 were negative for the Hepatitis Avirus.  Then, the 11 pigs were randomlyassorted into 3 groups: intravenous infection (4 pigs), oral infection (4 pigs)and a control group (3 pigs). The researchers observed the pigs for 28 days afterinoculation, and fecal and serum samples were collected every 4 days (beginningat day 6) for presence of the Hepatitis A virus.  Finally, at day 28, liver and bile sampleswere also collected (5).            In thegroup of pigs that were intravenously infected, all 4 pigs showed Hepatitis Avirus RNA in feces by day 6, and by the end of the 28 days 3 of the 4 pigsstill showed Hepatitis A virus RNA in feces. In the pigs that were orally infected, only 1 pig showed Hepatitis Avirus RNA in feces until the 28th day, at which time 3 of the 4 pigshad Hepatitis A virus RNA in feces. In serum testing, there was only one pigwho ever tested positive for Hepatitis A virus in the serum- this pig was fromthe intravenous inoculation group.

  Aswould be predicted, all of the negative controls tested negative for HepatitisA virus RNA throughout the experiment (5).             Like thefirst experiment, this study also had a small sample size and failed to provethe possibility of humans being infected with the Hepatitis A virus byanimals.  However, this study did provethat animals, including non-primates, could be infected by Hepatitis A virus,and that these animals shed the virus in feces. In addition, this study is arguably more significant than the firststudy because pigs-unlike baboons- live domestically all over the world.

  If pigs were to become a natural reservoirfor Hepatitis A, and humans were able to be infected by coming into contactwith pig feces, then the possibility of eradicating Hepatitis A would shrink dramatically.  

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