Diagnosis of hepatitis B by Dane particle associated DNA polymerase assay.

Abstract:

We have studied prospectively 478 subjects exposed to hepatitis B virus and 20 pregnant women who developed HBs antigen during the last trimester of pregnancy. The results suggest that the DNA polymerase assay might be useful for the diagnosis of hepatitis B infection and that in confirmed cases of hepatitis, the enzyme might be detected in the absence of HBs antigen. HBe antigen appeared in 19% of those subjects who developed HBs and a positive correlation between HBe antigen and DNA polymerase was found in 40% of the cases positive for this antigen. The data presented also suggest that HBe antigenemia in pregnant women is not consistently associated with HBs infection in the babies born to them. However the children born to HBe positive mothers are at higher risk than those born to HBe negative mothers.

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