Acute-phase stool samples collected from hepatitis cases during outbreaks of water-borne epidemic hepatitis were examined by immune electron microscopy (IEM). Spherical virus-like particles (27nm in diameter) were visualized in the stool of a hepatitis patient with serological evidence of non-A, non-B (NANB) hepatitis. The IEM demonstrated serological specificity of the antigen with the patient’s own convalescent serum as well as a known pool of NANB hepatitis convalescent sera. It is suggested that these virus-like particles may be the aetiological agent of faeco-orally transmitted NANB epidemic hepatitis in India.


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