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Antibody to Hepatitis B Surface Antigen and Screening Before Hepatitis B Vaccination

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Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia

Ann Intern Med. 1985;103(5):791-793. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-103-5-791
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The availability of a safe and effective hepatitis B vaccine has stimulated debate about the most effective ways to use this product. Because the vaccine is costly and because tests for hepatitis B antibody are widely available, physicians have the option of using one or more antibody tests to screen for susceptibility before administering the vaccine. Most persons with hepatitis B virus infection develop antibodies to both the hepatitis B surface antigen (anti-HBs) and core antigen (anti-HBc); therefore, a test for either antibody can detect persons who are immune. Nevertheless, recent reports have introduced doubt about the reliability of screening


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