The presence of hepatitis B 'e' antigen (HBeAg) and its antibody (anti-HBe) was evaluated by radioimmunoassay (RIA) in various groups of HBsAg-positive patients. HBeAg was present in the majority of the sera from patients with acute viral hepatitis at the onset of clinical symptoms and disappeared after 1 year. Almost all hemodialysis patients had HBeAg in their sera. 40% of the patients who had chronic active hepatitis and 50% with chronic persistent hepatitis had HBeAg with no relationship to the inflammatory activity of the disease evaluated by the presence of mononuclear infiltration in liver biopsy. The comparison between the presence of HBeAg and Dane particle-associated DNA-polymerase activity showed that HBeAg was consistently found in almost all the sera which presented DNA-polymerase activity. HBeAg, as determined by RIA, may therefore be useful in the screening of highly infective patients with elevated viral replication.
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - 1981|
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