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Electron microscopy of serum of healthy hepatitis B antigen carriers.
  1. I L Woolf,
  2. D M Jones,
  3. E Tapp,
  4. I W Dymock


    The sera of 36 blood donors who are established HBsAg carriers were examined with the electron microscope. The findings were correlated with the histological and electronoptic appearances of the liver and the titre and subtype of the antigen. Antigen-antibody complexes could not be detected. Dane particles constituted 2 percent or more of the total particle count in five of the 36 sera, including three sera from five carriers with chronic aggressive hepatitis and two sera from 11 carriers with chronic persistent hepatitis. In sera from carriers with normal histology or the minimal histological lesion of focal parenchymal necrosis they were detected very infrequently or not at all. Three biopsies revealed intranuclear inclusions when examined electronoptically and the corresponding sera all contained greater than 2 percent Dane particles. Where greater than 2 percent Dane particles were seen the antigen titre tended to be high. The predominant subtype was ad. There was no correlation between the number of Dane particles and the antigen subtype nor between subtype and histology.

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