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Lancet. 1988 Dec 3;2(8623):1273-6.

Transmission of hepatitis B from hepatitis-B-seronegative subjects.

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  • 1Unit of Recombination and Genetic Expression, Institute Pasteur, Paris, France.


The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to identify and characterise serum HBV DNA sequences in 3 patients negative for all HBV serological markers. HBsAg determinants were detected in 1 individual by monoclonal anti-HBsAg immunoradiometric assay. By use of sets of primers on the S and pre-S parts of the HBV genome the presence of HBV DNA was demonstrated in the serum of all 3 patients. Inoculation of human sera to 2 chimpanzees induced acute hepatitis in both animals; 1 became positive for HBsAg and anti-HBcAg and the other only for anti-HBsAg. Cloning of DNA sequences from viral isolates from 1 chimpanzee and 1 patient was accomplished after amplification of the 3' region of the S gene. Comparison of the partial nucleotide sequence with that of known HBV subtypes showed 0 and 1 point mutation, respectively, in the highly conserved 3' end of the S gene. Therefore the results show that PCR with HBV primers may unambigously identify HBV infectious particles among non-A, non-B viruses and is a potentially useful diagnostic test for detection of HBV DNA sequences in serum.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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