The acid stability of unpurified and highly purified hepatitis A virus (HAV) was tested and compared with that of poliovirus type 1, coxsackievirus types A9 and B1 and echovirus type 9. Only HAV had a high residual infectivity after 2 h of exposure to pH 1 at room temperature, remaining infectious for up to 5 h. At 38 °C, pH 1, HAV remained infectious for 90 min. Highly purified HAV was found to be infectious for 8 h at pH 1 and room temperature. This indicates that the increased stability is not due to protection by cellular material attached to the virus, but is a virus-specific marker. Under the same conditions, at pH 1 and room temperature, unpurified and highly purified HAV antigens were traceable for 5 and 4 h respectively.


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