Intrafamilial spread of hepatitis B virus infection - Role of chronic hepatitis and of the hepatitis B e antigen

Roberto de Franchis, Antonella D'Arminio, Franco Viganò, Maurizio Vecchi, Maria Grazia Rumi, Guido Ronchi, Massimo Primignani, Ersilio Del Ninno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Two hundred and forth household contacts of 85 chronic HBsAg carriers were studied to assess the relationship between liver histology and 'e' antigen or antibody positivity in the index carrier, and evidence of HBV infection within the family. Liver biopsy results were available in 54 index carriers. The prevalence of HBsAg and anti-HBs in the families of 29 carriers with chronic hepatitis and 25 carriers with either a normal liver or minimal inflammatory changes was not significantly different. Serum from 72 index carriers was available for HBeAg and anti-HBe testing. The prevalence of HBsAg and anti-HBs in the families of 5 HBeAg positive carriers, 59 anti-HBe positive subjects, and 8 carriers negative for both HBeAg and anti-HBe was again not significantly different. Infectivity of a carrier thus does not appear to correlate either with histological evidence of liver damage or with the 'e' antigen or antibody positivity of the carrier.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-158
Number of pages8
JournalLa Ricerca in Clinica e in Laboratorio
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1981



  • Carriers, chronic hepatitis
  • Hepatitis B e antigen
  • Hepatitis B surface antigen
  • Household contacts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry

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