, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 279-287

Detection of hepatitis B virus in blood samples negative for surface antigen, by DNA probe hybridization assay

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A DNA hybridization assay was developed using a cloned hepatitis B viral genome to detect the presence of infectious virions in human serum. The merit of this assay was to put in evidence virus particles in 7 out of 133 sera that were negative for surface antigen (HBsAg) using routine serological methods. The usefulness of this assay was confirmed by actual visualization of the virus under electron microscope. Some serum samples although positive for surface antigen, did not give a hybridization signal by dot blot assay and might indicate cases of acute hepatitis