Filtration and immunoprecipitation in the elimination of DNA polymerase activity associated with bacterial contamination of sera positive for hepatitis B e antigen and its corresponding antibody.


Samples of serum inoculated with Escherichia coli and serum that ...
Samples of serum inoculated with Escherichia coli and serum that became contaminated with bacteria after exposure to a laboratory atmosphere demonstrated elevated DNA polymerase activity. The levels of activity were well within the range of values found in hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg)-positive samples. The bacterial polymerase activity was markedly reduced by a single passage of serum samples through a 0.22-micron Millipore filter prior to analysis. Repeated filtration did not result in a substantial further decrease in polymerase activity. In sera that were heavily contamined with E. coli, however, filtration was not successful in reducing bacteria-associated polymerase activity to a base-line uncontaminated level. In such instances double antibody immunoprecipitation proved effective in elimination of bacterial activity. When bacterial contamination of serum samples is a possibility, specimens should be subjected to either Millipore filtration or immunoprecipitation prior to analysis, particularly when correlation of DNA polymerase activity with HBeAg and its corresponding antibody is attempted.




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