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Keywords:

  • HEV;
  • PCR;
  • epidemic;
  • hepatitis;
  • bile;
  • transmission

Abstract

We studied epidemics of viral hepatitis occurring at three different places in India. One was a combined epidemic due to hepatitis E virus (HEV) and hepatitis A virus (HAV) infections. In this epidemic, HAV affected children below 10 years of age, whereas HEV infected the young adult population. HEV was transmitted to rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulata) and confirmed by the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on bile from the animals. Fecal material from acutely infected patients in one of the epidemics was also found positive for HEV RNA by PCR. This may help in confirming the nature of future epidemics. The bile and liver from experimental animals can be used as a source of material for further virological and molecular biological studies of HEV. © 1992 Wiley-Liss, Inc.