The prevalence of antibody to hepatitis B antigen, detectable by radioimmunoassay, was found to be no higher among 58 long-term household contacts of multiply transfused haemophiliacs than among 100 randomly chosen blood donors. This suggested that such contacts do not have greater exposure to serum hepatitis virus than that occurring through natural means. Among those persons possessing antibody, the multiply transfused haemophiliacs showed a marked tendency for higher antibody titres than their contacts, implying differences in pathogenesis between infection acquired through multiple transfusion and infection acquired naturally.
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