Enterically transmitted non-A, non-B hepatitis: Recovery of virus–like particles from an epidemic in south delhi and transmission studies in rhesus monkeys

Authors

  • Subrat K. Panda,

    1. Department of Pathology, All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India, and Department of Medical Microbiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT, United Kingdom
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  • Rakesh Datta,

    1. Department of Pathology, All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India, and Department of Medical Microbiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT, United Kingdom
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  • Jagjit Kaur,

    1. Department of Pathology, All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India, and Department of Medical Microbiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT, United Kingdom
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  • Arie J. Zuckerman,

    1. Department of Pathology, All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India, and Department of Medical Microbiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT, United Kingdom
    Current affiliation:
    1. The Royal Free Hospital, School of Medicine, Rowland Hill St., Hampstead, London NW 3 2PF, United Kingdom
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  • Dr. Nabeen C. Nayak

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pathology, All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India, and Department of Medical Microbiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT, United Kingdom
    • Department of Pathology, All-India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi-110029, India
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Abstract

An epidemic of viral hepatitis, serologically characterized as due to non-A, non-B hepatitis, occurred in a village of South Delhi, India, in December, 1986, through January, 1987. Water contaminated with fecal matter was the apparent source of infection. Disease-associated virus-like particles were detected by immune electron microscopy in the feces of three patients within 5 days of illness. The virus-like particles were agglutinated by autologous acute-phase serum but not by convalescent serum. Rhesus monkeys inoculated with particle-containing fecal suspensions developed biochemical and morphologic features of acute, self-limited hepatitis. The findings in the present study and in earlier investigations of sporadic non-A, non-B hepatitis suggest that (i) the epidemic form and a proportion of sporadic cases of this infection in India may be related, both being enterically transmitted and associated with infection by a 27-to 32-nm virus-like particle, (ii) antibody responses to this virus occur early in disease and are transient and (iii) the rhesus monkey may prove to be a suitable model for studies of epidemic non-A, non-B hepatitis.

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