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Microbiol Immunol. 1992;36(1):67-79.

Hepatitis E virus: cDNA cloning and expression.

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Department of Pathology, Nihon University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.


Viral hepatitis E is endemic, frequently provoking epidemic outbreaks in many developing countries. We have attempted to clone the viral genome and to develop an antibody assay system. A lambda gt11 cDNA library was constructed from the bile juice containing putative causative viruses and was immunoscreened by the antisera obtained from patients and monkeys infected with hepatitis E. Three virus-specific clones were isolated and were revealed to overlap one another in sequence, with 1,459 nucleotides in total length. These clones direct the synthesis of polypeptides probably having common immunological epitope(s). Immunoplaque assay revealed the occurrence of antibodies against this epitope in the sera from experimental monkeys with the convalescent phase and from patients of Myanmar, Nepal and India. The data indicate that the cDNA fragments are useful for immunodiagnosis of hepatitis E.

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