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Acta Pathol Jpn. 1993 Mar;43(3):94-8.

An epidemic outbreak of hepatitis E in Yangon of Myanmar: antibody assay and animal transmission of the virus.

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


An epidemic outbreak of hepatitis E occurred in an army recruit camp of Yangon, Myanmar, in October 1989. One hundred and eleven patients among 600 residents were hospitalized. As high as 83.7% of these patients were positive for the acute phase antibody against hepatitis E virus by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay developed in our laboratory. Also, 30.6% of 49 symptom-free residents examined were positive for the antibody. We prepared a stool extract from six patients and inoculated it into 10 rhesus monkeys for a series of three sub-passages. All of them developed acute biochemical hepatitis along with an elevation of antibody levels. A rechallenge with viruses of the present outbreak failed to provoke hepatitis in two monkeys that had previously recovered from acute hepatitis caused by an isolate of sporadic hepatitis E of the same area. Similarly, the rechallenge of the sporadic strain did not induce hepatitis in two monkeys that had been previously infected with the epidemic virus. These data suggested that the subjects would obtain neutralizing antibodies against the hepatitis E virus once infected, and many adult inhabitants of the endemic area had no protective antibodies and were still susceptible to hepatitis E infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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