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The Expression Pattern of Hepatitis B e Antigen and Antibody in Different Ethnic and Clinical Groups of Hepatitis B Surface Antigen Carriers

J. Aldershvile, P. Skinhøj, G. G. Frösner, F. Black, F. Deinhardt, F. Hardt and J. O. Nielsen
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 142, No. 1 (Jul., 1980), pp. 18-22
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30112845
Page Count: 5
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The Expression Pattern of Hepatitis B e Antigen and Antibody in Different Ethnic and Clinical Groups of Hepatitis B Surface Antigen Carriers
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Abstract

The presence of hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) and its antibody (anti-HBe) was studied in 249 asymptomatic carriers of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) of different ethnic origin and clinical course. Among male homosexuals, renal transplant recipients, and hemodialysis patients, >90%o were HBeAg-positive. In contrast, anti-HBe was present in >85% of HBsAg-positive Danish pregnant women and blood donors. In presumably immunologically intact persons, significantly elevated levels of transaminases were found in the HBeAg-positive group as compared with the anti-HBe group (P < 0.0001). Among persons with Down's syndrome, males showed a tendency toward clearing of HBeAg and development of anti-HBe as compared with females. In Eskimos a correlation was found between presence of hepatitis B e markers, age of the HBsAg carrier, and geographic origin of the carrier. A similar age relationship was found in Vietnamese refugees. It is proposed that in the general population a correlation may exist between the prevalence of HBsAg carriers and the percentage of HBeAg-positive HBsAg carriers.

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