A sensitive radioimmunoassay method for HBeAg and anti-HBe allowed 98.4% of HBsAg positive blood donors to be classified. HBeAg was more prevalent in blood donors under 30 years of age and anti-HBe was more prevalent in those over 30 years. The mean HBsAg concentration was four times greater in donors with HBeAg than in those with anti-HBe. No significant associations were found with sex, blood groups, or HBsAg subtypes. It is likely that this test system will be extremely useful to blood transfusion centres and hepatitis reference laboratories in the future.
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