Detection of antibodies against hepatitis B virus polymerase antigen in hepatitis B virus-infected patients

Authors

  • Lung-Ji Chang,

    1. Departments of Microbiology, Immunology and Medicine, University of California Medical Center, San Francisco, California, 94143
    2. Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02138
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  • Jules Dienstag,

    1. Departments of Microbiology, Immunology and Medicine, University of California Medical Center, San Francisco, California, 94143
    2. Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02138
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  • Don Ganem M.D.,

    Corresponding author
    1. Departments of Microbiology, Immunology and Medicine, University of California Medical Center, San Francisco, California, 94143
    2. Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02138
    • Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine, San Francisco, California 94143-0502
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  • Harold Varmus

    1. Departments of Microbiology, Immunology and Medicine, University of California Medical Center, San Francisco, California, 94143
    2. Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02138
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Abstract

By the use of a truncated recombinant hepatitis B virus polymerase antigen, we have characterized a series of patient sera for anti-hepatitis B virus polymerase antibodies. Seven of 54 (13%) had antipolymerase antibodies detectable by Western blot analysis, and no close correlation was apparent between the disease status and patient's immune response against hepatitis B virus polymerase antigen. Our results indicate that serologic responses to the viral polymerase are demonstrable but suggest that such antibodies are not likely to be clinically useful as diagnostic or prognostic markers of infection.

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