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Hepatitis B antigen (HBAg) and its antibody (HBAb) in hospital patients
  1. R. W. Payne,
  2. A. Barr,
  3. J. Wallace
  1. Victoria Infirmary, Glasgow
  2. Regional Transfusion Centre, Law Hospital, Carluke


    Sera from 5171 inpatients have been tested for HBAg and HBAb during the 18-month period ending in December 1972. The incidence of HBAg (0·116%) was similar to that in blood donors (0·119%) in the same area, being tested for the first time by the same technique. By contrast the incidence of HBAb in patients (0·271%) was significantly higher than in donors (0·103%). A possible mode of infection was identified in three of six HBAg-positive patients and in seven of 12 HBAb patients. None of the positive patients was regarded as `high risk' when admitted to hospital. The study thus emphasizes the need to regard all specimens as potentially infective.

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