Papers And Originals

Cell-mediated Immunity in Patients Positive for Hepatitis-associated Antigen

Br Med J 1972; 4 doi: (Published 30 December 1972) Cite this as: Br Med J 1972;4:754
  1. F. J. Dudley,
  2. V. Giustino,
  3. S. Sherlock


    Cell-mediated immunity to antigens prepared from both serum and liver of patients positive for hepatitis-associated antigen (H.A.A.) was measured by using the leucocyte migration test. Altogether, 43 patients with H.A.A.-positive acute and chronic liver disease, eight with serum antibody to H.A.A., and 13 controls were studied. The cell-mediated immunity detected was specific for H.A.A. or other antigenic determinants of the associated infective agent and could be found only in patients with evidence of previous contact with H.A.A.

    Cell-mediated immunity to the H.A.A.-positive test antigens was found in all but one of the patients with acute hepatitis, in about half of the patients with chronic aggressive hepatitis or cirrhosis, rarely in those with chronic persistent hepatitis, and in none of the apparently healthy carriers.

    Our results support the hypothesis that the cellular immune response plays an important part in the clearance of the infective agent from H.A.A.-positive patients and in the pathogenesis of the associated liver cell injury.