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Australia antigen and primary biliary cirrhosis
  1. R. N. M. MacSween,
  2. A. A. C. Yeung Laiwah,
  3. A. A. Busuttil,
  4. Mair A. Thomas,
  5. Sheila K. Ross,
  6. G. Watkinson,
  7. I. Millman,
  8. B. S. Blumberg1
  1. University of Glasgow, Glasgow
  2. Department of Pathology, Western Infirmary, Glasgow
  3. Department of Medicine, Western Infirmary, Glasgow
  4. Institute for Cancer Research, Fox Chase, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA


    Sera from 64 patients with primary biliary cirrhosis have been examined for Australia antigen (Au). On immunodiffusion and immunoelectrophoresis all sera were negative. Using a radioimmunoprecipitation technique 15·6% of sera contained antigen compared with an incidence of 3·1% in matched controls, a significant difference (p = 0·015). Anti-Au was found in 9·4% of patients and in 7·8% of controls. In lymphocyte transformation studies lymphocytes from one of 24 patients with primary biliary cirrhosis transformed on stimulation with an Au-rich serum.

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    • 1 Present address: Genetics Laboratory, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford, Oxford.