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Chin Med J (Engl). 1995 Feb;108(2):126-31.

Morphology and morphogenesis of hepatitis E virus (strain 87A).

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Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Beijing.


The morphology and morphogenesis of isolated hepatitis E virus (HEV, strain 87A) were observed by electron microscopy (EM) and immune electron microscopy (IEM). Progressively developing local vesicles, virions accumulation in crystalline arrays and viroplasmic focus were seen in cytoplasm of infected cells. Replication and assembly of the new generation viruses were closely associated with rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER), inclusion body (IB) and microfibrils. Condensation and margination of chromatin, dispersion of nucleolar material, nuclear membrane alteration and masses of threads, granular material, and fibrillar component of the nucleus were frequently found. These changes revealed that this strain virus was confirmed as a RNA virus. The shape of the virus particles appeared approximately spherical whether the specimens were from the tissue culture crude suspension or purified highly concentrated preparations. The size of the virion was about 30 nm in diameter. The viral particles appeared unsmooth and irregular in outline. The spike-like structures may be occasionally observed on the surface of some viral capsides. The diameter of the strain 87 A virus is larger than the picornavirus and smaller than the calicivirus. This strain virus is different from classical calicivirus in without the cup-shaped surface depressions. The new genus, heparnavirus genus of caliciviridae family should be proposed for HEV.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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