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Clin Exp Immunol. 1988 Apr;72(1):164-7.

IgG subclass composition of antibodies to HBsAg in circulating immune complexes from patients with hepatitis B virus infections.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK.


The IgG subclass of antibody associated with hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in circulating immune complexes (CIC) from patients with either acute or chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections was measured using an isotype and antigen-specific ELISA. All patients were HBsAg positive but were negative for free anti-HBs antibody. The subclass of antibody associated with HBsAg in CIC in both groups was predominantly IgG1 and IgG4. This is in contrast to free anti-HBs in convalescent sera from patients recovering from HBV infection, which are highly restricted to IgG1 and IgG3. The finding of high levels of IgG4 antibodies in CIC suggest that CIC containing this subclass may be cleared less efficiently than CIC containing antibodies of other subclasses. Formation of these CIC may be an important factor in the progression of infection to chronicity and may also be involved in the antigen-specific immunosuppression seen in early acute and chronic HBV infections.

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