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J Infect Dis. 1982 Aug;146(2):184-9.

Detection by immune electron microscopy of the Snow Mountain agent of acute viral gastroenteritis.


An extensive outbreak of acute gastroenteritis of unknown etiology occurred at Snow Mountain, Colorado, in December 1976. Virus-like particles, 27 nm in diameter, were observed by electron microscopy in two of five stool specimens from individuals in the outbreak. Oral administration of a filtrate from one of the specimens induced disease in nine of 12 normal volunteers. Experimentally induced illness was similar to that observed during the outbreak. Stool specimens examined by immune electron microscopy revealed 27-nm virus-like particles in three of nine ill volunteers at the onset of illness. When the particles were used as a source of antigen, increases in levels of serum antibody were demonstrated in persons with either experimentally induced or naturally occurring illness. Therefore, it is likely that this virus-like particle is the etiologic agent of the Snow Mountain outbreak. The Snow Mountain agent appears to be morphologically similar to, but antigenically distinct from, the Norwalk and Hawaii agents by immune electron microscopy and may represent an additional antigenic type among the agents that resemble the Norwalk particle.

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