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January 1, 1973

Hepatitis and Blood Transfusion

Author Affiliations

Veterans Administration Hospital Durham, NC

JAMA. 1973;223(1):84. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220010070039

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These proceedings of a symposium held at the University of California, San Francisco, are unusual in two respects: only five months elapsed between presentation and publication, and the published volume is really worthwhile. The well-planned program managed to avoid repetition without stifling controversy in the broad fields of hepatitis B, its epidemiology, its antigens (for which the preferred designation is HB Ag, not Australia antigen or hepatitis-associated antigen), its antibodies, and the viruses involved. Rapid publication seems to have precluded an index, and required a typewritten format, but in such a rapidly changing area, these shortcuts are surely justified.

Not surprisingly, the papers raise more questions than they answer. Those responsible for the work give state-of-the-art reports on the immunologic, physicochemical, and ultrastructural features of HB Ag, and the section on candidate viruses is suitably speculative. Fairly general agreement exists on the clinical, histologic, and certain epidemiologic features of the