Research Article

Hepatitis B virus DNA and e antigen in serum from blood donors in the United Kingdom positive for hepatitis B surface antigen.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985; 290 doi: (Published 02 March 1985) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985;290:663
  1. T J Harrison,
  2. V Bal,
  3. E G Wheeler,
  4. T J Meacock,
  5. J F Harrison,
  6. A J Zuckerman


    Serum samples from 214 blood donors in the United Kingdom who were carriers of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) were examined for hepatitis B virus deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) by DNA:DNA hybridisation and for hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) and its antibody. One fifth of the donors carried infectious virus in their circulation. The presence of hepatitis B virus DNA correlated well with that of HBeAg, although hepatitis B virus DNA was found in five serum samples that were negative for HBeAg. It is concluded that analysis of serum samples for hepatitis B virus DNA by hybridisation should be the method of choice for determining whether carriers of HBsAg are infectious.