Detection of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients with acute and chronic active hepatitis B


Seventy five patients with acute and chronic active hepatitis (CAH) were studied by indirect immunofluorescence with monoclonal antibodies for the presence of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) on peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). The viral surface antigen was detected in the PBMC of all the patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV)-induced CAH and in acute patients with more than 2 months of evolution. No HBsAg was detected in the samples obtained from 12 normal controls or from 14 non-A, non-B CAH patients. Analysis of PBMC subsets revealed that HBsAg was present in non-T cells; dual fluorescence studies showed HBsAg on surface Ig-positive lymphocytes. The binding of anti-HBs monoclonal antibodies was higher than that of a goat anti-HBs serum, and the highest reactivity was observed with an antibody against the pre-S(2)-region sequence. Both HBsAg and hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg) were also detected in lysates of PBMC by dot blot analysis.

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Roisman, F.R., Mota, A.H. & Fainboim, L. Detection of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients with acute and chronic active hepatitis B. J Clin Immunol 9, 10–15 (1989).

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Key words

  • Hepatitis B virus
  • hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) detection
  • chronic active hepatitis