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December 24, 1973

Medical News

JAMA. 1973;226(13):1507-1514. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03230130001001

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Recently discovered particle may be hepatitis A virus  A small, virus-like particle, believed to be the causative agent of hepatitis A, has been visualized by investigators at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).This visualization, using immune electron microscopy, should help in attempts to isolate the virus in cell culture, which in turn is a prerequisite to manufacture of a vaccine.More immediately, the discovery of this viruslike antigen—and development of a technique with which to detect antibody to it—provide a means of diagnosing and studying hepatitis A. Testing for antibody to hepatitis A antigen may prove useful in standardizing the potency of immune serum globulin, the NIAID investigators suggest.Stephen M. Feinstone, MD; Albert Z. Kapikian, MD, and Robert H. Purcell, MD, reported on the procedures they used in visualizing the spherical, 27 nm particles in the acute-phase stool filtrates of hepatitis A patients in recent (Dec 7) issue of