The agent(s) responsible for sporadic non-A, non-B hepatitis in humans was serially transmitted in rhesus monkeys by intravenous inoculation of the stool extract from a patient. A novel agent called HFV (hepatitis French [origin] virus) was present as 27- to 37-nm particles in the infectious stool extract. Hepatopathic lesions were noticed in infected monkeys during the acute phase of illness. The purified viral 27- to 37-nm particles consist of a double-stranded DNA of approximately 20 kb and are detected in infected monkey liver. Analysis of cell culture detects the approximately 20-kb-long viral DNA in stool samples from infected monkeys and sporadic enteric non-A, non-B hepatitis patients. Furthermore, the 27- to 37-nm viral particles were able to protect monkeys challenged with infectious stool extract. Our results indicate that 27- to 37-nm virus like particles are responsible for sporadic non-A, non-B hepatitis in rhesus monkeys
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