EXPOSURE AND IMMUNITY TO HEPATITIS-B VIRUS IN A LIVER UNIT

W. D. Reed, A. L W F Eddleston, C. G. Mitchell, W. M. Lee, Roger Williams, A. J. Zuckerman

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Abstract

Using the leucocyte-migration test, cell-mediated immunity to hepatitis-B antigen (HBAg) was found in 12 (86%) of the 14 members of a liver-unit staff whose work involved frequent contact with purified antigen. In addition, 5 (36%) of them had hepatitis-B antibody (HBAb) detected by radioimmunoassay. Findings in the other 29 staff members were not significantly different from those in 43 age and sex matched factory-worker controls. 30% of the controls had evidence of cell-mediated immunity and 7% had HBAb. 6 patients recovering from acute HBAg-positive hepatitis also had both cell-mediated immunity and HBAb. However, only 1 of the 86 staff members and factory controls tested had ever had clinical hepatitis and liver-function tests were normal. It is suggested that frequent exposure to low-dose HBAg by the oral route may result in a primary immunological response in the gastrointestinal mucosa without viræmia or liver disease and that such immunity is likely to be protective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)581-583
Number of pages3
JournalThe Lancet
Volume303
Issue number7858
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 6 1974

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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Reed, W. D., Eddleston, A. L. W. F., Mitchell, C. G., Lee, W. M., Williams, R., & Zuckerman, A. J. (1974). EXPOSURE AND IMMUNITY TO HEPATITIS-B VIRUS IN A LIVER UNIT. The Lancet, 303(7858), 581-583. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(74)92646-4