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Fecal excretion of hepatitis A virus in humans.

Authors
  • Rakela, J
  • Mosley, J W
Type
Published Article
Journal
The Journal of infectious diseases
Publication Date
Jun 01, 1977
Volume
135
Issue
6
Pages
933–938
Identifiers
PMID: 193999
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

To define more completely the period of fecal excretion of virus during hepatitis A virus infection, we studied 24 fecal samples from six children with clinical illness during an epidemic of type A hepatitis. As determined by immune electron microscopy, the six patients had detectable viral excretion before or by the time of the first abnormality in serum glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (alanine aminotransferase). Viral excretion reached a peak early and declined to undetectable levels before levels of serum enzyme reached a peak. These data accord with epidemiologic evidence that the person who already has symptoms and signs of type A hepatitis is unlikely to transmit the infection to others. Immune electron microscopy, therefore, may be a better index to the period of communicability than studies of experimental infection in human subjects. This conclusion would imply that precautions against fecal contamination are not usually necessary for patients hospitalized with type A hepatitis.

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