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J Med Virol. 1985 Apr;15(4):343-50.

Absence of detectable hepatitis B virus DNA in sera and liver of chimpanzees with non-A, non-B hepatitis.


The risk of hepatitis B infections has been reduced by screening of blood donors for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). However, recipients remain at significant risk of developing post-transfusion hepatitis. Studies have shown that non-A, non-B hepatitis virus(es) are responsible for the majority of post-transfusion hepatitis infections. In spite of many efforts, these non-A, non-B hepatitis viruses have not yet been identified. Epidemiological studies, however, suggest that non-A, non-B hepatitis shares many features with hepatitis B. Recently, Wands et al [1982] showed, in chimpanzees infected with non-A, non-B hepatitis agents, the presence of antigenemia or viremia by radioimmunoassay with monoclonal antibodies directed toward distinct determinants of HBsAg and by molecular hybridization analysis. They suggested that non-A, non-B hepatitis agents may be related, but distinct variant(s) of hepatitis B virus (HBV). In this study, five chimpanzees were inoculated with three different agents that have been shown to transmit non-A, non-B hepatitis. The following inocula were used (I) a factor VIII preparation kindly provided by D.W. Bradley, (II) acute phase serum from a chimpanzee infected with the F strain kindly provided by A.J. Zuckerman, and (III) a DS-antigen serum previously shown by us to transmit non-A, non-B hepatitis [Duermeyer et al, 1983]. All chimpanzees developed a rise in transaminase levels between 8 and 10 weeks after inoculation. None of the chimpanzees was positive for any markers of HBV infection. No evidence was obtained of infection with hepatitis A, cytomegalovirus, or Epstein-Barr virus. One chimpanzee developed chronic liver disease.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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