Hepatitis E Virus in humans is a major cause of acute hepatitis in many developing countries in Asia and Africa, where it is transmitted by the fecal–oral route because of poor sanitation practices. Acute hepatitis E is also increasingly reported in industrialized countries, where the transmission is mainly zoonotic.
The initial discovery of Hepatitis E Virus transmission from domestic pigs has been followed by evidence that other mammals, such as wild boars and deer, are also potential reservoirs of Hepatitis E Virus.
Recent studies have characterized new Hepatitis E Virus genotypes in isolates from rats in Germany, wild boars in Japan, and farmed rabbits in China.
The potential risk for zoonotic transmission of Hepatitis E Virus from rabbits in France is unknown. Cases of autochthonous hepatitis E are commonly reported in France, scientists investigated the prevalence of Hepatitis E Virus in farmed and wild rabbits.
 Meng et al: A novel virus in swine is closely related to the human hepatitis E virus in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences – 1997
 Meng: Hepatitis E virus: animal reservoirs and zoonotic risk in Veterinary Microbiology – 2010
 Johne et al: Novel hepatitis E virus genotype in Norway rats, Germany in Emerging Infectious Diseases – 2010
 Takahashi et al: Analysis of the full-length genome of a hepatitis E virus isolate obtained from a wild boar in Japan that is classifiable into a novel genotype in Journal of General Virology - 2011
 Geng et al: The serological prevalence and genetic diversity of hepatitis E virus in farmed rabbits in China in Infection, Genetics and Evolution – 2011
 Izopet et al: Hepatitis E Virus Strains in Rabbits and Evidence of a Closely Related Strain in Humans, France in Emerging Infectious Diseases - 2012