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"e" Antigen, Dane Particles, and Serum DNA Polymerase Activity in HBSAg Carriers

STEPHEN H. HINDMAN, M.D.; CLIFTON R. GRAVELLE, M.S.; BERT L. MURPHY, M.S.; DANIEL W. BRADLEY, Ph.D.; WILLIAM R. BUDGE, M.D.; and JAMES E. MAYNARD, M.D., Ph.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Stephen H. Hindman, M.D.; Phoenix Laboratories Division, Center for Disease Control; 4402 North Seventh Street; Phoenix, AZ 85014.


Phoenix, Arizona


Ann Intern Med. 1976;85(4):458-460. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-85-4-458
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Sera of 103 carriers of hepatitis B surface antigen were assayed for e-antigen and anti-e. Twenty-four were e-antigen-positive, 31 anti-e-positive, and 48 had neither detectable (e-negative). Aminotransferases were elevated in 75% of the e-antigen-positive carriers compared with 25% of e-negative carriers (P < 0.001) and 13% of anti-e-positive carriers (P < 0.001). Serum DNA polymerase activity was significantly higher in the e-antigen-positive carriers than in carriers without e-antigen. Dane particles were shown in 10 of 12 carriers with e-antigen, compared with one of 12 e-negative carriers (P < 0.0003) and none of 12 anti-e-positive carriers (P < 0.00003). These results suggest that ongoing hepatitis B viral replication is more active in e-antigen-positive carriers than in carriers without e-antigen, a finding that may help explain the high prevalence of chronic active hepatitis described in these individuals.

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