Aetiology of acute sporadic non-A, non-B viral hepatitis in India



Non-A, non-B (NANB) hepatitis viruses are now classified as hepatitis E (enterically transmitted) and hepatitis C (parenterally transmitted). India experiences a large number of epidemics of the enteric disease every year. In addition, about 70% of the sporadic cases among adults are also due to NANB hepatitis. With the availability of an immunoblot assay for the detection of anti-HEVIgM and the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection of HCV-RNA, serum samples from epidemic and sporadic NANB patients were screened for these markers. We found that a large number of cases from the epidemics were HEV, though a few remained undiagnosed, while of the sporadic cases only a few could be diagnosed as HCV or HEV; a large proportion remained undiagnosed. © 1993 Wiley-Liss, Inc.