Detection of HEV RNA in faeces, by RT-PCR, during the epidemics of hepatitis E in India (1976-1995)


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Abstract

SUMMARY.Out of the 15 hepatitis E (HEV) epidemics that occurred during the years 1976-1995 in the Gujarat and Maharashtra states of India, 45.78% (76/166) stool samples showed the presence of HEV RNA, HEV RNA was found significantly more often in samples that were transported in liquid nitrogen (50.9%) compared with samples that were transported in wet ice (37.0%) (P< 0.05). Stool samples collected within 7 days after the onset of the disease (59.2%) were more often positive for HEV RNA when compared with samples that were collected 7-20 days after the onset of the disease (28.5%)(P < 0.01). It has been observed in experimentally infected Rhesus monkeys that they excrete HEV throughout the incubation period and for a variable length of time after the elevation of serum ALT levels. A similar situation is found in humans.

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