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Hepatitis Be antigen and antibody in hepatitis B surface antigen positive blood donors.
  1. A Barr,
  2. S H Black,
  3. C J Burrell,
  4. B Dow,
  5. I Macvarish


    In a study of 105 asymptomatic HBsAg positive blood donors, 9 (8.6%) were found to have HBeAg, 38 (36.2%) anti-HBe, and the remaining 58 (55.2%) neither marker detectable by gel diffusion. There was no correlation between HBeAg/anti-HBe status and HBsAg sub-types, Glm allotypes, the presence of anti-Gm, red cell antibodies, or rheumatoid factor. Rheumatoid factor activity could be removed from anti-HBe positive sera without removing anti-HBe activity, indicating that separate entities were involved. HBeAg was found only in donors under the age of 30 (P less than 0.005), while anti-HBe did not show an age-related trend. HBeAg was also found less commonly in donors of blood group A than in the total carrier population (P less than 0.05), indicating an apparent protection in carriers of group A. The blood group distribution for the 105 HBsAg positive donors was similar to that of the general population.

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