Enterically transmitted non-A, non-B hepatitis: recovery of virus-like particles from an epidemic in south Delhi and transmission studies in rhesus monkeys.Hepatology 1989; 10(4):466-72Hep
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.