Research Article

Liver enzyme concentrations as measure of possible infectivity in chronic asymptomatic carriers of hepatitis B.

Br Med J 1978; 2 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.2.6152.1600 (Published 09 December 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;2:1600
  1. J A Barbara,
  2. V Mijovic,
  3. T E Cleghorn,
  4. R S Tedder,
  5. M Briggs

    Abstract

    Fifty-two British-born blood donors who were chronic carriers of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) were tested for the presence of hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) and antibody to HBeAg by an immunoradiometric assay. The presence of HBeAg was closely associated with a slight rise in serum liver enzyme concentrations, a high HBsAg titre, and male sex. We suggest that the finding of persistently raised serum liver enzyme concentrations in an asymptomatic HBsAg carrier might be useful as a likely indicator of HBeAg and high infectivity.